Wednesday, March 09, 2011

One New Experience Each Week - Horse Betting

Feeling that I am lazying in my comfort zone & routine and taking life for granted. So I decided to continue with my "One New Experience Each Week" initiative. And I am glad that I did it. Last Sunday, I went to Turf Club the first time in my life and tried horse betting.

Viewing the horse racing in comfort. 
However, the best atmosphere is at the ground floor with all the "uncles and aunties" shouting loudly & rudely in Hokkien. I understand the excitement of horse racing - the need to do thorough research on the track record of the horse, jockey, the course (long or short distance, sand or soil), the uncertainties like the climate & the unpredictable horse temperament. 

Most of the gamblers are old people. Turf Club is facing a real aging problem!

There are many different ways to bet and the winning odds varies accordingly. You can bet on the winning horse, the top 3 positions, the combination and/or permutation of the top 3 or 4 positions. Yes, it can be quite confusing. If you place a $2 bet on the top 4 positions correctly, your payout is around $9,000. Not bad, but the odds is low.

Self-Help Betting Kiosk which is connected to your ATM, and there is NO LIMIT to the betting sum. This could literally wipe out your savings. Really too convenient and dangerous for those people without self-discipline. This machine should be banned!

I am surprised and disturbed about the sophistication of the whole setup. There is around 30mins interval between each race, and during that interval you could bet on the races in Hong Kong & Macau, and view them "live" on TV. All these horse racing clubs are co-ordinating well to milk more money from the gamblers.

Well, the only happy outcome was that I lost money ($70 on betting & $7 for entrance fees) in 1.5hr. I could really feel the adrenalin rushing and the tense atmosphere during the race. I was a gambler at heart, as I was driven by greed and was taking more risk (betting on the underdog or the "underhorse").   

This is a wonderful experience and lesson for me. I won't come back again, as I would definitely lose more money because of my greedy nature. Losing $70 is a cheap way to understand myself. 

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