Jason Beem's Thursday Column for Apr. 20, 2023

April 20th, 2023

A good Thursday to you all! I wanted to write about a topic I’ve been thinking about lately but one I don’t know that I’ve ever really talked about on the show. The topic is about sharing bets or tickets with people.

I was trying to think back how often I’ve ever split bets or shared bets with friends and I have to think it’s in the single digits. I remember a few times back at Emerald Downs maybe putting in $8 a piece with my friend Chris and doing small Pick 4 tickets, but that’s about it. For the most part it just never appealed to me for some reason. 

One of the very cool things we have at TwinSpires is the Betshare function where you can literally set your bet up to be divided up into shares and have friends buy into it with you. No cash trades hand as it’s all on the account and when it goes official and you hit, you each get paid your share value. To me it takes away a lot of the issues that can arise from sharing bets. 

With modern technology, sending and receiving money from someone not physically close to you is as easy as it’s ever been. There are numerous apps that allow you to send money right away pretty simply. So I would think that the number of group or shared tickets as a whole is increasing as opposed to shrinking. I mean, even on the owning side of horse racing, more and more people are owning horses in partnerships than ever before. I would think with how easy it is to send money or because of things like Betshare, it’s just easier and probably more common than it was 20 years ago. 

I think the idea of bet sharing is amazing and can be a really cool way to share in the excitement of betting on horse racing. But let me talk about the negative side of sharing bets with friends and the reason why I wanted to write about this topic. In the last few years, I have had numerous friends or acquaintances who have told me about issues they’ve had when sharing bets in ways other than using features like Betshare. 

Transferring money nowadays, while generally pretty easy, can be a little annoying. So I think a lot of people who go in on group tickets might do them on the promise of sending money, even after the ticket has been punched in.

To me, I would think it would be ideal for all money to be paid to the ticket puncher before the bet is placed. But I understand that’s not always feasible and sometimes the idea to share a bet might come on short notice. However I feel like if a ticket loses before all parties have paid, the chances for someone to avoid or delay sending the money to make the ticket puncher whole, seems to go up. 

Of course, a winning ticket now creates other potential issues. Whoever punched the ticket, whether online or in person, now has all the money. And has the task of divvying up the winnings. Good problem to have right? Well if you’re one of the ticket investors, you have to account for the person with the money to be stand-up enough to send out the money and do it in a timely fashion. Which sadly to say in the world of gambling, isn’t always the case. 

As I said the number of stories I’ve heard in the last couple of years of people stiffing others, not playing tickets they took money for, or just flat out stealing, is quite remarkable. So if you are going to share bets, be mindful.

Use a program like Betshare or with people you absolutely trust or have a long-term track record of dealing with in situations like these. Sharing bets with friends should be all about the fun of it, not the stress of worrying you’re going to get paid or stiffed. 

Everyone have a great weekend!