Everi Enters Historical Horse Racing Via Exacta Systems

Everi Holdings Inc. entered historical horse racing (HHR) through Exacta Systems’ technology. On March 2, Exacta announced Everi’s HHR games debuted at Boston Billiards Club and Casino in Nashua, NH.

Exacta said among the HHR games on its system, Exacta Connect, are four “player-popular” titles:

  • Patriot Extra Spin
  • Triple Jackpot Gems Deluxe
  • Wild Gems Extra Spin
  • Blazin’ Gems Deluxe

Exacta explains how Exacta Connect works:

Connect’s HHR system is based on widely accepted pari-mutuel wagering rules and uses [a] plurality of races to maximize different outcomes that provide popular gaming experiences.

Dean Ehrlich, Everi’s executive vice president and games business leader, said:

Everi’s agreement with Exacta has allowed us to enter the HHR market very quickly, where we can offer our distinctive cabinets and popular game content to a new audience of gaming players.

Although HHR games operate much like slots, the New Hampshire online casino legalization effort excludes HHR.

Everi’s Historical Horse Racing Games Took Time

The Exacta announcement resulted from Everi’s preparation. On May 3, 2022, the land-based and online gaming casino content creator said it acquired game developer Intuicode Gaming Corporation.

Everi is best known for its stepper slots and online adaptations of mechanical slots, including Black Diamond and Double Cherry.

The acquisition included an initial payment of $12.5 million, with two additional payments in 2024 and 2025 – based on future revenue. The total purchase is expected to reach $22 million to $27 million. In 2021, Intuicode generated over $10 million in revenue from HHR machines.

Ehrlich expressed excitement about the acquisition. He added that the HHR knowledge and game development expertise brought by Intuicode would help expedite the development and commercialization of Everi’s extensive library of content in the HHR market, positioning the company for future growth.

The acquisition opens a new market for Everi. The company’s portfolio includes payment and casino solutions, app development, and more.

What Are Historical Horse Racing Machines?

HHR machines look similar to slot machines at first glance, but their operation significantly differs. Slot machines use a random number generator to ensure the randomness of results. Meanwhile, HHRs use statistical data from thousands of past races to mimic pari-mutuel betting at race tracks.

When playing HHRs, players select three horses to bet on.

The machines display relevant statistics, such as:

  • winning percentages
  • handicaps
  • past winners

That’s meant to help players make better choices. Some HHR machines also offer helpful features like a button to guide players through the selection process or an auto-pick option. Bonus rounds are another common feature in HHR games.

Overall, HHRs aim to offer a unique gaming experience that content providers say blends the excitement and skill of horse racing wagering with the convenience of electronic gaming machines.

HHR Generates High Revenue in the Few States It’s Legal

HHR is considered a game of skill, so they are classified differently than slots, poker, blackjack, and other casino games. They’re classified as games of chance.

The games are available in only six states:

  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • New Hampshire
  • Virginia
  • Wyoming

Some of these states have a strong anti-gambling stance.

Interestingly enough, in Kentucky, which is famous for its anti-gambling views, HHR machines are very successful. The games generated $6.8 billion for the past fiscal year, up by 47.8%, year-over-year. That dwarfs the revenue of around $100 million from simulcast and live horse betting. The state taxes HHR like pari-mutuel horse racing at 1.5%. For the last year, that brought $102 million in tax revenue. These numbers are expected to grow as racetracks across Kentucky keep adding more machines.

HHR is doing well, even in the low-population Wyoming. For the last fiscal year ending June 30, the machines generated $615 million. If you look at the calendar year of 2022, the number increases to $1.3 billion. Wyoming also taxes HHR like horse racing, at 1.9%.

Another Acquisition Can Help Everi With HHR

In October 2022, Everi acquired Venuetize Inc., an app developer specializing in creating mobile apps for the sports, entertainment, and hospitality industries. Among Venuetize’s clients are the PGA Tour, Memphis Grizzlies, Live! Casino Hotel, LAFC, and Summerlin.

Additionally, Venuetize partners with Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), the home of the Kentucky Derby and a racetrack operator. Venuetize created the app for Churchill Downs, including features like ticketing, calendars, and maps. The partnership can help Everi increase its HHR presence at Churchill Downs properties and jumpstart its new venture.

Churchill Downs has been expanding over the past year. It plans to offer more HHR machines at the current and open a new venue in Kentucky with over 800 machines. Through a purchase in Virginia, it can potentially install additional 2,300 machines there. Even though CDI purchased Exacta in December, it might look for other partners to offer a broader selection to its players.

About the Author

Chav Vasilev

Chav Vasilev

After years of managing fast-casual restaurants, Chav turned his passion for sports and occasional slot wins into a career as an iGaming writer. Sharing his time between Europe and the US, he has been exposed to betting and gambling for years and has closely followed the growth in the US. Chav is a proponent of playing responsibly and playing only at legal online sites. When not writing, you will find him watching and betting on sports, especially soccer, or trying to land the next big bonus on a slot.
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