Operation of the French Pari-Mutuels, Daily Racing Form, 1913-11-09


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i ; . 1 1 : s I 1 I 1 i a -i v t a t e t t s s c s . OPERATION OF THE FRENCH PARI-MUTUELS. Frank J. Gould, has contributed to the press an interesting article concerning the operation of the parl-mntuels In France, in which countrv ho maintains an extensive racing establishment." Extracts from it follows: "The government of France has had the good sense to regulate by law the amount of interest allowed to be iald to stockholders of the different racing societies, which, I think, is 4 per cent. This at once eliminates the question of speculation, as far as the racing societies are concerned, and brings together a body of men whose sole interest is to protect the breeding of horses, and to make it possible for the public to enjoy racing under the most favorable conditions. All the money over the 4 per cent, goes into the upkeep and beautifying of the hippodrome and for premiums to breeders in the colonies and into prizes which are increased in amount each year, according to the revenues of the societies. "In America the government is unwilling to face the situation and understand that the breeding of pure-blooded horses is a matter of national importance. The consequence is that racing societies here look upon their affairs as a speculation, and in the course of a year, if 50, 00, 70" or even 100 per cent profit is made. It is distributed among the stockholders, and the public, which supported racing, gets no direct or lasting benefit, and the race prizes often are too small and inadequate. "The benefits which result to Franco from the ojierations of the pari-mutuel incontestably are many. Nearly all the great charities in the country are regularly supported by the percentage of profits which the government retains for the purpose out of the gross transactions of the pari-mutuel. The poor and suffering gain by the pleasures of the wealthy. "The practical working of the pari-mutuel is extremely simple. All the bets made upon the different horses in a given race are centralized massed together and the proceeds divided pro rata, after the deduction has been made of the percentage reserve for public charities, etc. The system is so simple that any one interested could make a calculation as the betting goes on, that is, If he was sufficiently expert at figure. As it is, there are now two or three agencies allowed at race courses in France who supply customers with a slip of paper upon which the prices of all the horses in a race are quoted, as the betting goes on. "Upon the. program offered by the racing societies every horse in a race is numbered. The agents who supply the. quotations use these numbers to dls- tinguish tho different horses, and the public Is .quickly put in possession of the latest odds upon each. . "Races in France are run at half-hour Intervals, and. the business done at the books continues for nearly all that time, allowance being made, for the race to be run. the weighing in and the official calculations to determine the amount to be paid for the winning tickets. There are sets of tickets pre-I rared for each race, stamped with the number of the distributing book, the number of each ticket in progression, as well as bearing the number of the horse and the value, whether 10 francs, 20 francs, 100 francs, or 500 francs. "When only three horses are entered in a race only tickets for the winner are paid. When four and m to and including seven horses are entered, the pari-mutuel pays for the winner and second horse. When eight or more horses run. three horses, the first, second and third, are officially placed and paid ujion. It has not seemed worth "while here to explain the pari-mutuel system concerning placed horses, but the calculations are made much in the same manner as for the winner. "Admitting for a moment the Puritan statement that betting is an evil, a fact which the French nation is perhaps perfectly willing to grant, France at the same time recognizes that the nassion for play is a human quality which even the Christian church has not Inen able to elimlate from man, and so has set to work to control it legally and use it for the dignified advantage of the nation." 1 . ; . , , 1 1 I ; ; j , -, ;

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1910s/drf1913110901/drf1913110901_2_8
Local Identifier: drf1913110901_2_8
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800