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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Rainbow 6 exposed?

The announcement by Gulfstream Park of its Rainbow 6 wager to have a mandatory payout on Monday, May 26, created a lot of excitement among horseplayers.  With its $6.6 million carryover, estimates made by track executives suggested the pool could reach as much as $20 million.  Entries were drawn earlier than usual to give horseplayers an extra day to handicap and with it's minimum $.20 wager, it seemed that anyone who wanted to play could afford to.

Unfortunately, the excitement bubble was burst when the Rainbow 6 was hit one day before on Sunday, May 25 for a payoff of $6,678,939.12.  The winning ticket cost $7,603.20 using the "all" button in five races and two horses in the other race.  All the hours spent handicapping by those looking forward to that day has been lost as the wager will likely have only a fraction of the pool for its mandatory payout and track executives will never know how much the pool could have swelled to.

As for the rules of the Rainbow 6, it is paid out every day for those who have selected the most winners on any ticket for that race day.  If there is not a single winning ticket, 70% of the pool pays out to winning tickets with the other 30% going into the carryover pool.  If there is a single winning ticket, the entire pool including the carryover is paid out.

Basically, if you have a winning ticket that is not a single winning ticket (with all six winners) you are hit with a double takeout: The 20% takeout for placing the wager and then 30% from the winnings that goes into the carryover pool.  Sounds like a lose-lose wager for those who play it unless you are one of the very few who has a single winning ticket which has proven to be extremely rare.

It will be interesting to see how the betting public accepts the wager now that the wager has been exposed in that it can be "bought" by a large ticket and for its "hidden" double takeout.  The dreams of a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow has faded and the Rainbow 6 wager might fade away as well.

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