Spring 2017: BetRight

BetRight exploits consistent human bias for profit at the race track.
John Lockhart

John Lockhart

UChicago Booth Alum

About John

John is a medical device industry executive with 20 years of experience in both mature and start-up environments and every stage of growth in between. He obtained his MBA from University of Chicago in 1997 and ever since, it’s been off to the races! John’s interests include traveling with his family, neighborhood Bocci, and the occasional day out at the horse track.

What’s BetRight?

How much is lost through inefficient race track betting? The annual racing handle at US tracks is $13 billion, so perhaps quite a bit!

BetRight seeks to provide users with smart betting suggestions based on economic research into human bias and real-time tote board data. Humans bet inefficiently at the race track. See Thaler, The Winner’s Curse, 1992 and Ziemba, Dr. Z’s Beat The Racetrack, 1987. This is a well-understood, well-studied and persistent bias. Taking best advantage of it for profit involves some math better left to a computer, and real-time tote board data entry. A smartphone picture can be processed to take care of the data entry, and the math is simple enough for a mobile computing platform. With this tool, a user can go to the racetrack, snap a picture of the tote board just before post time and get an instant recommendation of the most efficient and profitable bets to place on a particular race. A nice day out at the track can result in taking home a few dollars instead of the inevitable loss, as the uninformed bettor is bound to have.

How does the App Challenge help with this great idea?

App Challenge developers will be exploring the limits of Optical Character Recognition to read numbers from a racetrack tote board and build a mobile minimum viable product.  Read more...