Gulfstream’s Rainbow Six helps generate 81% increase in handle

by | 04.24.2011 | 8:19am

Press Release

Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino's 10-cent Rainbow 6 returned $3,279.26 Saturday to 1,311 winning tickets.

The winning numbers were 6-4-10-9-3-5. The winning horses were: Captain Crench ($10.40), Notonthesamepage ($10.20), Zero Rate Policy ($3.40), Performing ($5.80), Hariolus ($8.60), Rachel's Girl ($22.80).

The winner of the 12th race and final leg of the Rainbow 6, Rachel's Girl, was jockey Ariel Smith's first winner of the meet.

There was a total of $3,597.005.65 bet into the Rainbow 6 pool Saturday to increase the total pool to $5.018 million. Gulfstream's total handle Saturday was more than $13 million, an increase over last year of 81 percent.

“The overall energy in the building and around North America surrounding the Rainbow 6 was positive and great to see,” said Gulfstream President Steve Calabro. “What we experienced today was what we focused on all season, and that was doing everything we could to improve the customer's experience.”

Said Tim Ritvo, Vice President of Racing for Gulfstream Park , “We're very happy with the response we received this weekend and throughout the meet on the 10-cent Rainbow 6. It was also great for the industry since it was customer-driven and allowed everyone to be involved. We'll offer the wager Sunday on our closing day and we look forward to more excitement when we open for our 2011-2012 meet on Dec. 3.”

During Gulfstream's 79-day meeting, there were three unique winning tickets. On Jan. 27, the Rainbow 6 was hit for $221,677.41. Three days later, the only unique ticket returned $32,846.35. On Feb. 16, the only winning ticket returned $81,868.76. 

  • I wonder how long the Rainbow 6 “frenzy” will last? The initial results are indeed impressive but we’ve seen in the past with the P-6 guarantees of $4 million,$3 million,$2 million and $1 million…..come and go over the last 16 years.The reason…customers stopped betting or customers betting less because they weren’t cashing tickets.

    The Rainbow 6 may follow in those steps down the road given the structure of the wager…those that picked 5 winners yesterday received zilch as happens whenever 6 winners are hit.The small bettors will eventually be turned off as some big bettors were yesterday.

    The question in the future will the Rainbow 6 adapt to a changing market down the road?


    The bet was only a good value with positive expectation when the mandatory payout was required. When that came into play, it essentially became a massive typical P-6 carryover. I.e. with that kind of carryover, you would have seen virtually the same activity on a normal $2 P-6 in California. The chances of it getting to that stage again anytime soon are low. Look at the bet’s history at Beulah Park (which pioneered the bet but uses a 25 cent unit).

    During its normal run, the wager is a sucker bet for any intelligent player and carries a huge negative expectation.

  • Dan

    I agree. Let others do the dirty work during the bulk of the meet. I’ll be looking forward to closing day of Gulfstream next season…once again, the ONLY day I’ll be playing their P6.

  • NAFTA-
    I’m not so sure Big Bettors approach this/bet this like any mandatory P-6 because :

    1).there are no consolation payouts
    2).the low minimum of 10 cents makes the probability of selecting 6 winners greater.Big Bettors will still invest but not at the same dollar level. They can play a $20k Rainbow ticket for $2k……



    Normally, no, they don’t approach it like a normal P-6. But by evidence of the pool levels they pretty much did yesterday, since the value expectation was there even without 5 of 6 payouts.

    For the small player, the best time to hit this wager is very early in the pool when the activity is low (I’m not sure if Gulfstream has a guaranteed payout on the unique 6-6 early in the pool like Beulah does? Beulah guarantees $5,000 on a unique 6-6 ticket even if the total pool is lower). Your hope is to get lucky and catch $5,000 on say, a $16 or $32 ticket. And obviously very, very lucky.

    Once the pool in this scenario gets large, i.e. over $100,000 or so, it greatly favors those with large bankrolls, and appreciably so as the bet grows. For instance, a few years ago I think Beulah’s pool grew to $600-700k (or something in that neighborhood). The guy that ended up hitting it had a $25,000 ticket. The results were so crazy that no one else was even close. Once the pool gets that high, what are the chances that someone investing less than, say, $100 in 10c units, ends up with the sole unique ticket?

    In my opinion 10 cents is way too low for a wager like this and just illustrates how truly a gimmick it is. They designed it to continue to carry. 25 cents would be more proper/fair, IMO.

  • I completely agree on the minimum 25 cent level but I still maintain after a decade that thoroughbred racing needs a MAXIMUM attachment to some of these multi race exotics.The lottery has a $1 maximum level for their numbers though you can buy as many $20 tickets as you like.Unfortunately, racing excs only think carryover/big pools rather than the overall impact to ALL customers which includes their majority customer fan base…..bettors with $250 or less bankroll.

  • steve

    The fact is Rainbow 6 was a big success and other tracks should follow.

    It would have been even bigger if many more places would have been allowed to take bets on it.

  • kyle

    This was definately a success. And despite what was a very high effective take on the non-jackpot portions I thought many of the payouts were pretty generous. I think just about any track would improve its pick 6 handle by going to a dime or quarter minimum. But I would do the jackpot differently. I’d make the take 18-20% with only 3-5% going into the jackpot pool. I think that would make it a more attractive day in, day out bet.

  • FourCats

    Agree with NAFTA on this one. Yesterday’s large wagering into this bet says nothing about the Rainbow 6 because it was only the required distribution of the carryover that caused the large amount of wagering. And that required distribution is not a feature of the Rainbow 6, only a happenstance because the end of the meeting occurred.

    The real problem with this wager is that the bettor has no control over whether or not he wins the bet. He can pick all the winners and still not win. Racing’s greatest appeal is that you can get good odds if you’re smart enough. It is not the lottery.

    The tracks could produce the heavy wagering associated with a large carryover regularly if they had a multi-race exotic wager with a guarantee of $1 million or more. With perhaps 50% of the amount wagered each day going to a consolation payoff (but the guarantee only applying if you pick the entire wager). But to offer that guarantee, the wager would have to be so difficult as to give them a large degree of confidence that it would very rarely be hit. And when it was hit, most if not all of the size of the pool would cover the guarantee. A Pick 6 (while difficult) is too easy a bet to hit when many are betting thousands on it.

    My suggestion is a Pick 9. Maybe only offered every Saturday so that it would be more special and available to more people. I would also eliminate any requirement that it be distributed at the end of a meeting. Just using all 8 horse fields as an example. A Pick 6 would have 262,144 combinations. A Pick 9 would have 134,217,728 combinations. For comparison, the Powerball has odds of 1 in 195,249,054.

    Would such a wager be a gimmick? Perhaps. Some people would have no interest. But others, like myself, would almost certainly try it.


    Agree totally FourCats. Guarantees are proven to work, and as Crist wrote a couple of weeks ago, tracks have got to find a middle ground between the lottery effect they are seeking to attract attention, and reasonableness/fairness. I don’t think the Rainbow 6 comes even close.

    And I think you’re right on with a Pick 9 type of scenario with a big guarantee and a reasonable unit price (sorry, not 10c). It’s got to be a straight serial bet; you can’t possibly think the average person could understand a quad-super (hell, they have a hard enough time understanding how to bet something like a twin-trifecta). A track might take it on the chin in the short term figuring out exactly the right mix that produces optimal betting performance, but if they could, it could be really lucrative.

    Ultimately the holy grail is a national wager distributed (Pick 9 would seem a good fit) through lottery outlets with a reasonable takeout, but that’s not gonna happen in our lifetimes. The person that could pull that off would deserve a Nobel prize.

  • Andrew A

    It was a huge marketing success. It was only a good bet on the last day but they got to send out carryover emails on a daily basis. That’s smart marketing.

  • Albany

    It is good to see some new twists to increase wagering handle and also more interest in a fairly average racing card. Personally, I would like to see more tracks try Pick 6’s for a dollar or a dime. When ten cent superfectas were put into regular play, the average superfecta payout was pretty much unaffected. I also believe that pick 6 bets less than $2 minimums will not affect the payout pool, and even the playing field for the average bettor vs the syndicates and pools that raise a lot of money for the multi wagers anyway. Just my ten cents….

  • Indulto

    Kudos to GP for giving the bet a try. Now that a major track has had some experience with it, perhaps some others will attempt to make it even more attractive to bettors on a regular basis. 50+% effective takeout won’t do that. Forget jackpots and consolations! Just pay off on 6 of 6 except for the final Saturday through the end of the meet. There will be carryovers and higher daily pools.

    Emulate New York and offer 15% takeout on non-carryover days.

    Follow HOL and provide free PPs, but also lower the takeout on verticals for those races as well. If you’ve got people looking at them for the P6, encourage them to play supers, Tris, and exactas as well.

    Is CD the most likely candidate?

    For those who think a 25-cent minimum is better and/or want more churn, automatically put 5 of the additional 15 cents into a concurrent pool that pays off on combinations with 5 or more winners only, and the remaining 10 cents into one that pays off on 4 or more only.

  • pete

    going into the last race i was 5 for 5 and needed the 6 for all 6 and got nosed out at the wire what a rush

  • What’s funny is the 10-cent pick six with a mandatory payout was also offered Sunday at Gulfstream and paid just over $30,000 for 10 cents.

    Anyway, I like the idea of a 10-cent pick nine myself going back to when I actually played such at Balmoral Park (harness track in the Chicago suburbs) a few years ago. That bet, even at 10 cents has the potential to develop big carryovers because of the additional three legs of the bet.

    It’s also one bet I would make part of the Breeders’ Cup Saturday card by moving the Marathon back to Saturday with nine races on that day. Add a potential $5 million guarantee to it, and it has serious potential to attract lottery players who’d be looking at the potential to win $5 million on a 10-cent wager. That’s where such a wager would do it.

  • I just read that Churchill’s Twinspire conducts a Player’s Pool and they put in a $100,000 ticket Saturday with million combinations….they hit it though customers lost b94% of their investment because the Rainbow only paid $3,200.

    Churchill in 2008 bought America Tab that created the Player’s Pool years before to attack big P-6 pools in CA and elsewhere.The Player’s Pool is blantly illegal.

    The California Attorney General ruled in 2006 that the Player’s Pool was indeed illegal and instructed the CHRB to send a cease/desist order to America Tab to stop sending Player’s Pool P-6 wagers into CA pools.Churchill kept the Player’s Pool to attract new customers to their ADW site but I’d like to see how the FLA Attorney General would rule on CDI’s Player’s Pool legality.The KY Attorney General was asked about 4 years ago and they didn’t or wouldn’t rule on the legality even though their own ADW laws clearly make it illegal.

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