NFT horse racing may sound complicated, but it’s a lot like horse racing in real life. Horse racers can buy their digital horses, breed them, and race them. The fine details of how NFT horse racing works may confuse some. But it’s fundamentally real-money online horse racing. Here’s NFT horse racing explained, why people pay for it, and what opportunity it could one day create for sportsbooks.
NFT Horse Racing Explained
A company called ZED Run offers digital horses that players can race against each other. Players pay real money for a horse, which can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over $100,000. Each horse has a set of statistics and attributes that determine performances and prices. Players can also pay to breed their horses with other horses.
So, it’s similar to any other online game. The twist comes from the horses being offered as NFTs and the blockchain the game is based on.
Digital Deeds For Horses
In the case of ZED Run, NFTs are just deeds for digital horses. They’re the digital equivalents of paper deeds for real racehorses. The irrefutable ownership that comes from buying an NFT racehorse is one of the things that makes players willing to invest real money into these digital horses.
But making the horse into an NFT helps ZED Run overcome a few technical challenges too. It makes it easier for the game to track horse breeding. In the game, players can pay real money to breed their horses with other horses. NFTs have the built-in capability to send a portion of that money to horse owners. It also tracks a horse’s offspring following breeding, allowing players to search for horses related to high-performers.
NFT Horses On The Blockchain
The other reason players would invest in these horses is the blockchain. (The ZED Run platform is on the Ethereum blockchain, which means that one section of the Ethereum blockchain is dedicated to this horse racing game.)
The ZED Run blockchain is one ledger of every transaction related to the game’s horses. So, every race, training, offspring, and relative is on a list that players can review.
This also keeps the original generation of horses rare. Players can’t hack the blockchain and create an army of super horses. Instead, the original 38,000 horses and their offspring are the only available rare horses. This creates the scarcity that makes some horses more valuable than others.
Real Money Prizes In Digital Horse Racing
If players buy a horse they like, then they can enter it in ZED Run’s digital races. Some races are free, but others include entrance fees. In real money events, the race’s top three winners split the prize pool in a 60/25/15 ratio. So, players shouldn’t get overexcited about their potential winnings in a race.
Since this is a blockchain company, players get their winnings in Etherium. Players connect a Meta Wallet account upon signup. (Meta Wallet is like PayPal or Skrill but for cryptocurrencies.) That’s where players will receive their winnings. While players can make transactions with US dollars, Etherium’s currency is the foundation of ZED Run payouts.
Future Sports Betting Opportunities
Licensed sportsbooks don’t offer betting markets on NFT horse racing. However, that has less to do with ZED Run’s beta status and more to do with horse racing and sportsbooks more generally.
Horse racing has special betting rules compared to other sports. Traditionally, horse racing doesn’t have fixed odds. Instead, payouts depend on the number of total bettors and the number of bettors who choose the winning horse. If they were allowed to offer horse racing, sportsbooks would have difficulty accommodating horse racing’s parimutuel system of betting.
Currently, the only legal online horse betting platform is TVG. It has exclusive rights to major North American horse racing games. Between these rights and its specialization in parimutuel betting, it can offer online horse betting. So, if a mainstream company were to take interest in ZED Run, TVG would be it.
If fixed-odds horse racing comes to the United States, then sportsbooks like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM could offer horse racing odds. That could open the door to NFT horse race betting. But in the meantime, bettors can only bet on real horse races through one platform.
There’s great potential for growth in horse race betting and NFT horse racing. But in the meantime, all the betting action is relegated to the real horses and the real horse tracks.