Funny enough, this the exact same dialogue that the Fantasy Sports operations use on their client base.. Both companies claim to use specially-designed software that can “identify and interrupt” obsessive and compulsive fantasy team owners/ users.
Advocates for the Fantasy Sports industry argue vehemently that DFS is mostly a game of skill with a small element of luck involved. For instance, many of the top performing DFS players make no secret of the fact they often use regression analysis, machine learning techniques, point-spread analysis and a host of other numerical techniques to get the edge over their competitors.
Probably the most distressing argument comes from Fantasy Sports’ comparison to traditional Sports betting (which is illegal in all states except Nevada and Delaware). The act banned all wagering on sporting events at the time except in the two states where it was already legal (Delaware and Nevada). They promote the idea that with just a little bit of research on injury reports, match-up histories, and the like….players can gain an advantage on the gambling house and make away with oodles of cash. According to these advocates, the outcome of most if not all fantasy sports tournaments can be determined by the “accumulated statistical results” of sporting events. And to be fair, there is a lot of evidence to back up their claims. Yet, as the amount of money that is being wagered on fantasy sports mounts and the number of losers increases; many users are left feeling like they’re in a typical casino setting.
Fast forward to the present day. The legal sports gambling institutions that operate in Delaware and Nevada often argue that there is a skill component to wagering on outcome of sporting events. Back then, Fantasy Sports was a technical niche that was on no one’s radar; therefore the law made no mention of it.
compared to Traditional sports betting:
As mentioned before, according to the the language of the UIGEA, the issue of whether or not fantasy sports games can be considered online gambling or not depends on to what extent the fantasy sport is a game of chance or a game of skill.
Moreover, industry leaders Fan Duel and Draft Kings claim that they actively combat gambling addiction and work actively to prevent unhealthy interaction with their product. In 1992, Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Protection Act
However, that environment was perfect for online professional gamblers using advantage gambling techniques. The world of online gambling was quite different back then, more rogue casinos and less gambling regulations. I started playing online in 2006, back in college. For two years I blogged only on the weekends and not many people took notice. However, over the years, my casino gambling blog gained some momentum.
A bit about myself: I’m Simon, and I’m the author of Simon’s Online Gambling Blog. I made around $10 000 in total playing online (which was quite a lot of money back then, in Eastern Europe). I was one of those guys. It helped me pay for college.. “Online casino bonus whoring” – as it was called, got less profitable profitable after I was banned from over 200 online casinos, so I took a break from online gambling, finished college, got an office job, you know, the works. However, after a long hiatus I returned to the online gambling scene, this time as an online gambling blogger (and as a player as well of course)
There are also more risks during recovery for women than men.
Bone said he visited the Oregon Urology Institute in Eugene, Ore. Douglas Hoff, a urologist at the Oregon Urology Institute, said Bone is not alone. Very few men may also develop chronic pain after the procedure. Wayne Kuang, of the American Urological Association, who practices in Albuquerque, N.M. Women undergoing this procedure need general anesthesia on top of a 30 minute procedure, according to the National Institutes of Health. Neal said most patients who start bleeding do so because they’ve ignored instructions to rest.
“It’s a great marketing scheme; we always recommend that you go home and lay low and on your easy chair,” said Kuang.
Although birth control is an option for many couples, urologists say men are far less likely to take the leap. so a lot of men will go undiagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart disease.”
Get a Vasectomy and Some Cool Gifts
Like many men, David Bone of Springfield Ore. Neal said in 20 years of doing 100 vasectomies per year, he has had one patient develop chronic pain.
Not Every State Hot on March Madness Vasectomies
“I don’t know if these were the guys who were on the fence and this pushed them over the edge, or if these are guys who would be doing it anyways,” said Hoff.
“I think it’s hard to convince men, in general, to get health care,” said Neal.
“I heard about this thing called ‘Snip City’ last year and I thought ‘that is a really good idea,’” said Bone, 38.. In the past two years, more and more doctors across the nation have jumped on the tournament as a prime opportunity to get men to “take care of the equipment and lower your seed for the tourney,” as one advertisement for an Oregon urologist suggested.
Health clinic runs vasectomy promotion
While more clinics are offering March Madness specials each year, the link between March Madness (or Vas Madness as an Austin, Texas office calls it) hasn’t reached all parts of the country yet.
Complications, for men, according to Neal, include bleeding and infection in about one in 100 patients. Bruce Neal is also reporting a slight business uptick during the tournament.
Urologists are even offering March Madness deals with pizza, mugs and reminders of the mandatory days off of from work they’ll need to help prod men to make the cut.
Yes, a vasectomy. had a plan for college basketball’s annual March Madness tournament: enter a bracket , take care of chores ahead of time, and get a vasectomy.
But Kuang didn’t doubt that many of his patients who follow doctor’s orders to rest will be watching the game.
Like any surgical procedures, vasectomies have risks and a recovery time. But the operation which requires only a local anesthesia, is much less demanding than tubal ligation. and a professor at the University of New Mexico.
“Usually because of the weather the way it is, a lot of people are going to be watching …[their] NCAA basketball team,” said Neal, of the BayClinic. — that’s probably the biggest spike in the year,” said Dr. “We thought we could catch people in their down time, and give them a reason to sit there and watch one basketball game after another.”
However, Neal said once men enter his office the majority go through with the procedure.
“What better way to spend March Madness than to have doctor’s orders to sit on the couch?” Bone, 38, told ABC News.
Neal’s office also used a “Let our Boys Take Care of Your Boys” promotion at the end of the year to draw in more customers. He says he’ll spend spare time playing with his five children.
The other scenario is if the wife recently gave birth, and the couple has agreed it will be their last child, he said.
Dr. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 15 percent of couples rely on female sterilization, but only 5 percent of couples rely on male sterilization as a form of birth control.
In Green Bay, Wis., Dr. for the 15-minute procedure on Thursday, which will leave him with a long weekend to sit at home and watch the games with his new promotional package: a cooler, a Subway sandwich coupon, a promotional T-shirt, a sports magazine and a bag of frozen peas, ah … “You get these 20, 30, or 40-year-olds who seek health care with a lot less frequency than women do in the same age group… He’s seen twice as many vasectomy appointments in March than in any other month.
“From my experience in my geographic area, the top two scenarios are if it’s the end of the year, and they’ve met their deductible and they’re trying to fit it in… for the swelling. This is his second year of offering a March Madness promotion
Chris Christie’s request to permit legal sports betting in the Garden State. Believe me, if Apple figures out a way to fit prostitutes with one of those Square credit card readers for the iPhone to automatically deduct sales taxes and Social Security, well, just get ready for the UberEscort app is all I’m saying.
The federal government and an association of sports leagues are opposing this move to legalize sports betting. It’s illegal only because the government is not taxing it, and because the pro sports leagues are not getting a cut of the action. Meanwhile, if you would like to buy a lottery ticket, those odds on the Powerball are about a bajillion-to-one. Standing in line for the lottery in your bathrobe in the early afternoon? Still legal, but really sad.
That means you and I will continue to get stuck in line at the Kwik-e-Mart, behind some delusional nudnik spending money he doesn’t have on a handful of scratchers, or calling out his “lucky” numbers to the clerk.
The nice thing about vices is that as they become more widespread, popular acceptance eventually overrides the law. When gambling is profitable to these entities and interest groups, it’s legal. And, of course, fantasy activities increase viewership; instead of watching only your team on Sunday, you’re going to watch every game and commercial featuring your fantasy players. It’s in Christie’s interest — and that of New Jersey — to revive the casino industry.
Sports wagering is probably next. The New Jersey Attorney General’s office has since directed law enforcement to refrain from prosecuting casinos and racetracks for running sports-wagering pools.
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Whether it’s outlawing drugs, prostitution, even alcohol Prohibition, making vices illegal is problematic because it’s illogical. Here’s what happened:
Ultimately, don’t think for a second that the leagues, the states or the federal government care about the morality of our gambling addictions. As it stands, a federal court of appeals has struck down a New Jersey law repealing a sports betting ban. But the government is happy to take your money on that bet.
Confused? You should be. It’s the ultimate hypocrisy to suggest that there’s something evil about putting 50 bucks on the Eagles to cover the spread: a close to 50/50 wager. When someone else is making the profits, it’s magically illegal.
It has often been said that vice crimes are “victimless,” because each one of them involves a deliberate choice to inject, fornicate, snort or swill to the detriment of one person: the person with the bad habit.
So then, can sports betting become morally and legally acceptable in New Jersey, where the government is prohibited from licensing or sponsoring it? Traditionally, gambling has only been legal when the government can profit, but the governor and his attorney general have apparently decided that a devastating loss of jobs in Atlantic City justifies forgoing money in the coffers.
Placing a bet with your bookie at the bar is outlawed, but not because it’s intrinsically immoral. Don’t believe me? Fantasy sports–gambling havens of their own–are legal, and now an industry.
The pro teams and leagues must be furious, right? Well, actually no. Pal, you’re in your pajama pants and slippers, out in public, at noon on a weekday: Your “lucky numbers” are anything but “lucky.” Time for some new lucky numbers, and a job.
Trump Plaza is one of the Atlantic City casinos that has shut down.
Here’s the fascinating part about the New Jersey case: The federal court of appeals held that the state could not sponsor or license sports gambling. So, the New Jersey law allowing sports wagering was struck down, except that the court observed that the federal law banned a state from “licensing” or “sponsoring” sports gambling. Virgin Islands. These benevolent entities have every interest in preventing the moral scourge and corrosive addiction that is gambling.
After all, state-sponsored gambling is already an entrenched part of our society in the form of the lottery. That was challenged by the NCAA, NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB, and the federal government in federal court. Prohibition didn’t work because we didn’t accept it. Another way the NFL benefits massively from fantasy sports.
By this logic, New Jersey could pass a law making sports betting legal in a casino, so long as the state had no part in regulating it. The NFL, for example, runs its own fantasy leagues, and licensed use of any NFL products is an additional revenue stream. Follow him on Twitter: @CevallosLaw. What a surprise: In states where it is now legal it is taxed and regulated.
(CNN) — As a society, it seems we’ll always struggle with our vices. Marijuana has become legal over time by slowly gaining ground, until users–and states–openly flouted federal criminal law. It’s all about money.
While the Garden State has a “moral” dilemma, the leagues’ position remains the same: the 3rd Circuit decision doesn’t guarantee them any profit, so they will continue to oppose sports betting as they have so far in this case.
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The sooner the leagues figure out an infrastructure that siphons revenue from Grandpa Vito’s nasty penchant for blowing his pension check on the ponies, sports betting will magically become OK with pro sports. As long as the state offers some flimsy pretext about the money going to schools or senior citizens, we the people are placated.
And then there’s gambling.. Our governments are less morally conflicted, it seems.
Of course, supporters of vice prosecution argue that the individual’s addiction or bad decisions always have an indirect collateral effect on society as a whole: Drugs and prostitution ruin neighborhoods, while booze and cigarettes impose a health care cost borne by all of us.
Which means — and this is confusing — sports betting may be legal in New Jersey.
That question might have been answered in the negative, if Atlantic City had not suffered big declines in the profits of casino businesses in 2013. That is apparently different than banning a state from making sports gambling legal.
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Crimes, on the other hand, are wrongs committed against another person, or society as a whole–by definition, damaging another person’s body or property.
Make no mistake, the only reason lotteries are legal is because the government gets to wet its beak. The court held the state law conflicted with federal law, called PASPA, which prohibits engaging in a sports gambling scheme “pursuant to state law.”
The Unlawful Internet Gambling and Enforcement Act of 2006 makes an exception for any fantasy sports game with an outcome that reflects the relative knowledge of the participants (but not chance). Vices are personal choices made that harm one’s own body or property.
New Jersey passed a 2012 state law legalizing sports betting in the state. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has conceded what the rest of us have known for a long time: Legal sports gambling is inevitable.
Court will rule on Chris Christie’s effort to legalize sports gambling in New Jersey
Danny Cevallos says sports leagues, federal government oppose the move
He says it’s not an objection on moral grounds; the foes just want their share of money
Cevallos: For New Jersey, the key is to stop the loss of casino jobs
Basically, if a state law conflicts with a federal law, and the federal exercise of power in that area is valid, the state law loses. The court voided the New Jersey law, finding it was pre-empted by the federal law.
Editor’s note: Danny Cevallos is a CNN legal analyst, criminal defense attorney and partner at Cevallos & Wong, practicing in Pennsylvania and the U.S. That sounds a lot like betting on games–but then again, who are we to question the wisdom of Congress?
Just kidding. They care about money. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. That put Christie in a bit of a pickle: Is there any point in legalizing sports wagering if the state doesn’t get a piece of the pie?
On October 6, a federal district court judge will entertain New Jersey Gov
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If you’re not a horse racing aficionado but want to look like you know the ropes, here’s a dummy-proof guide to the Kentucky Derby.
Longines Kentucky Oaks — Friday, May 1
Taste of Derby — Thursday, April 30
Where to Stay
On your mark, get set … All modern thoroughbreds can trace their pedigrees to three stallions originally brought to England in the 17th and 18th centuries. The doors open at 8 a.m., and spectators can start placing their bets at 10 a.m. Many love the party atmosphere you get from standing in the infield.
Before the Race
Place bet: A wager on a horse to finish first or second.
Mint juleps are made with bourbon, mint, and a kick.
Bluegrass dominance: A term acknowledging that 75 percent of Kentucky Derby winners were bred in Kentucky.
The Kentucky Derby may last only two minutes, but in Louisville, it’s a monthlong celebration with more than 70 events, including parties and concerts. They are known for their athleticism and agility.
When it comes to the Kentucky Derby, the bigger your hat, the better. From feathers to ribbon and bows, anything goes.
This is your chance to mingle with horse racing celebrities while sampling some of the best food in Kentucky. General admission tickets are available for $55. Refers to the fact that if they lose, they may be jumping off the nearest bridge.
This is the one time of year when you can wear a hat like this and not end up on a worst-dressed list.
What to wear
Lingo you should know
Show bet: A wager on a horse to finish third of better.
If you can’t get tickets to the big show, there are viewing parties all over Louisville, and most bars will be showing the big race. Here are a couple of favorites.
Maker’s Mark Bourbon House & Lounge
Old Seelbach Bar
Race Day — May 2
Where to Watch
It wouldn’t be the Kentucky Derby without a mint julep in your hands. Pacquiao fight, the hotel is hosting a watch party.
Seelbach Hilton Louisville
Thoroughbred: The horses that run in the Derby. Every year more than 100,000 spectators from around the world show up for the race, wearing their colorful hats and sipping bourbon.
Galt House Hotel
What to Drink
This authentically restored, early 1900s bar features an expansive bourbon collection and cocktails made from scratch.
In addition to the 57-foot-long bar, this lounge also boasts plenty of screens to watch the race. Instead of large male thoroughbreds, this race features 3-year-old thoroughbred fillies (young female horses). Beyond making the obvious fashion statement, wearing a colorful hat is said to bring good luck. The average jockey is 5?4? and weighs just 112 pounds.
To get people revved up for the big race on Saturday, Churchill Downs hosts the Kentucky Oaks race the day before the big event. go! The Kentucky Derby takes place every year on the first Saturday in May and is the culmination of the two-week-long Kentucky Derby festival. The Taste of Derby brings together award-winning chefs from regional restaurants who prepare everything from seafood to barbecue. More than 100,000 people attend the event, making it one of most popular horse races in American horse-racing society.
Every year, the Kentucky Derby takes place at Churchill Downs. The race is known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,” and as you watch the powerful thoroughbred’s speeding around the track, you’ll certainly know why. Spectators are also encouraged to wear pink in honor of the feminine vibe and as a way to raise awareness for breast and ovarian cancer prevention. It’s standing room only, but general admission guests can bring in food items, chairs, and blankets. If you’re looking for a place to watch the Mayweather vs. Grab a glass of wine, snack on some food, listen to live music and speculate about which horse will take home the trophy.
And if you just want to stumble upon something great, 4 Street Live! has a variety of bars and restaurants guaranteed to be showing the race.
. Scott Fitzgerald used the location as a backdrop for Tom and Daisy Buchanan’s wedding in the Great Gatsby, and the Old Seelbach Bar has some of the best bourbon in town. As for the men, they tend to wear seersucker suits or brightly colored pants.
Jockey: The man who rides the horse. F. For more than 100 years, the bourbon-based drink has been the traditional beverage of Churchill Downs, and during Derby weekend, the venue plans to serve more than 120,000 of the cocktails.
Located in the heart of downtown Louisville, the Seelbach Hilton exudes southern charm. It is also commonly referred to as the “Run for the Roses.” This year there are 20 contenders for the top prize.
Bridge jumper: A person who bets an unusually large sum on a single horse. On Derby day there will surely be some colorful characters in the hotel lobby.
Exacta/perfecta: A wager on two specific horses to cross the finish line in first and second place in exact order.
Ladies usually wear dresses in light colors or pastels. Chances are the bar will be crowded during the derby, so get there early if you want a good seat.
Not only is Galt House the oldest hotel in Louisville, it also has beautiful waterfront views
The rise in sports betting has been steady over the past 10 years, though bookies say this year may end up having the biggest increase of all. That was true last Sunday when the Minnesota Vikings won outright against an Atlanta Falcons team that had been bet up from a 3-point favorite to a 6-point pick.
That football is big business in sports books comes as little surprise. “That could change drastically, but so far, so good.”
What he didn’t think was that anyone would bet serious money on it.
“If New Jersey gets it, Pennsylvania is going to get it, and California and New York will want it,” said Nick Bogdanovich, the oddsmaker at William Hill U.S., which operates dozens of sports books in Nevada. “There are casinos and lotteries and horse tracks in every state so what is one more form of gambling. That’s because football remains as popular as ever, and a new generation of younger bettors seems to have embraced it with enthusiasm.
“As convinced as you are that they won’t win, it’s still awfully hard to lose them all,” Vaccaro said. The sport accounts for more than half of all sports betting revenue at the books, which won some $202 million last year on record wagering of $3.6 billion.
“The handle has been fantastic and it’s continuing to grow,” said Johnny Avello, who runs the sports book at the Wynn. “But it’s been the best I’ve seen for quite a while.”
Indeed, the longstanding stigma against sports betting seems to be fading away, particularly now that daily fantasy companies offer online wagering that is strikingly similar to the proposition bets put up in sports books.
That’s good news for the only state — at least for now — that allows full-fledged betting on sports. “I told them to write it up.”
And if New Jersey is successful in its current effort to join Nevada in offering sports betting, the market will only grow.
“I don’t gloat about it because it can change,” said Vaccaro, who helps run the sports book at the South Point hotel-casino.
Some proof, perhaps, that people will bet on anything. Even better is that the bookies are doing better than the guys on the other side of the counter so far this year.
. But Vaccaro doesn’t mind risking a $25,000 payout in a football season that has proven quite profitable so far for most of the legal bookies in this gambling city.
Jimmy Vaccaro thought he would offer bettors a little fun — and a long-shot chance at some real cash — when he put up a proposition this week at 25-1 odds on the Jacksonville Jaguars going winless this season.
“You win those type of games it puts you in a great position for the rest of the day,” he said. “But wouldn’t it be funny if they beat the Skins on Sunday? Then I’d have to come up with something different to keep things interesting.”
Technically, that’s true, though the skill of the best handicappers is what limits sports books to about a 5 percent average win on money bet. Luck plays its part, too, though the bettor who put $1,000 on the Jaguars becoming the first team since the 2008 Detroit Lions to go winless through an entire season may be stretching his a bit too far.
“We had it up for about two hours and a kid came in and wanted to bet $1,000 on it,” Vaccaro said. And this one is the one you have the most chance of winning.”
That was double the betting done in legal sports books just a decade ago, and all signs are this will be the biggest football season ever.
At the South Point, Vaccaro said the house has won every week of the NFL season, mostly because some key games that drew heavy action broke the right way
Andrew Sloan, director of the Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, said scientists have only recently understood how “tumors recruit the immune system” and how that system can be alerted to fight the cancer.. toddler who had leukemia. Food and Drug Administration to fight various cancers.
The battle to cure cancer just got a serious boost thanks to former Facebook President Sean Parker, who has pledged to donate $250 million to research a breakthrough area of cancer treatment called immunothearpy.
“Immunotherapy represents a fundamentally new, breakthrough treatment paradigm in the fight against cancer – it harnesses the body’s own powerful immune system to mobilize its highly refined disease-fighting arsenal to engage and eliminate the cancer cells,” Bluestone said in a statement Tuesday.
Medical researchers have for decades labored to find a way to have the immune system turn and fight against the tumors that have invaded the system the way they fight bacterial or viral infections. Waseem Qasim, professor of cell and gene therapy at University College of London’s Institute of Child Health, said last year.
While still experimental, similar treatments have been used to remove T-cells from sick patients, modify them to find and attack cancer and then injecting them back into the body. Scientist have discovered breakthrough ways in recent years to manipulate the immune system so that it attacks cancer cells.
Parker, who also cofounded file-sharing computer service Napster, this week announced on his website the creation of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy that will link six major cancer centers: MD Anderson in Houston, Memorial-Sloan Kettering in New York, Stanford, UCLA, University of Pennsylvania and University of California-San Francisco. They protect cells from part of the immune system.”
Most recently, former President Jimmy Carter, who had been diagnosed with metastatic cancer, benefited from a check-point inhibitor called pembrolizumab. “They recruit cells that surround them. These are not cells that kill the tumor. Bluestone’s discovery of a protein called CTLA-4 helped researchers discover a way to take the “brakes” off the immune system. … In many cases patients have side effects that are far less toxic than chemotherapy.
Immunotherapy treatments, which work by harnessing the body’s immune system to battle cancer, have been considered in recent years to be a possible game-changer in the fight to stop cancer.
UC-San Francisco immunologist Jeffrey Bluestone, who discovered an early form of immunotherapy in the 1990s, will act as president and CEO of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. After months of treatment, Carter announced that doctors could no longer detect signs of cancer in his system.
Other immunotherapy treatments work by targeting the immune system and manipulating it so that it can find and attack cancer cells. Parker, 36, has pledged a $250 million grant to the institute, according to the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy of San Francisco.
Dr. Doctors took donor T-cells and then used “genetic scissors” to modify them so they would be safe to put into the toddler.
While many immunotherapy treatments remain experimental, many studies have shown remarkable results.
Patients will sometimes have immune responses such as fever or rash that indicate their immune system is battling the cancer.
“Tumors have figured out how to turn off the immune system,” Sloan said in an interview with ABC News when Carter first announced his diagnosis. Called “check point inhibitors,” these drugs ramp up the immune system to fight cancer and a few have been approved by the U.S. A breakthrough cancer treatment last year helped save the life of a U.K. In some cases, patients with stage 4 disease have been found to have no sign of the disease after treatment, although it is unclear whether the cancer will return at a later date.
They used the same tools to add synthetic genetic material that made the cells go after the cancer.
“The approach was looking incredibly successful in laboratory studies, and so when I heard there were no options left for treating this child’s disease, I thought, ‘Why don’t we use the new [modified T-cells]?” Dr
It seems another underdog, Sri Siam, has taken home the prize.
Pens click open, click shut, click open, click shut. Placing bets is fairly easy: each level of the cement-block bandstand hosts rows of windows marked by the monetary range of bets that can be made at each. Hope springs eternal, again.
Though the club — which includes a driving range and an 18-hole golf course — is private, horse races are open to the public and held every other week, usually on Sundays from about noon to 6 p.m. Race programs are tightly rolled between clenched fists. Only three people clap during the victory photos.
The day has barely reached its halfway point, but already a creeping sense of dejection permeates large quarters of the crowd. Wiry men with salt-specked hair surround me, most taking long, contemplative drags from cigarettes as they peer through binoculars at the starting gate; their programs are littered with notes, scribbles and circles.
Admission for foreigners is essentially 200 baht: 100 baht at the gate and another 100 baht for an English-language racing program, which is available near the entrance on Henri Dumont Road.
Royal Bangkok Sports Club, 1 Henri Dumont Road, Pathumwan, +66 2 2510 181. Check www.rbsc.org for race dates and more information.
Part of the Charter included orders to obtain and establish the club at the Royal Racing Course, today known as the Royal Bangkok Sports Club.
Years later, after Hurst had departed from what was then known as the Royal Racing Course, King Rama V issued another Royal Charter that sanctioned the establishment of a club focused on “improving the standard of horse breeding, the holding of race meetings, and other sport.”
The race begins on the far end of the track, but I can’t see anything without binoculars. Others huddle under small television sets airing pre-race scenes from the main track, scrutinizing the field, sizing up the jockeys, jotting notes on their racing program, searching for clues before bets are made.
Men should be sure to wear shoes and a collared shirt — otherwise you’ll have to check your flip-flops at the gate and rent an ill-fitting dress shirt and a pair of stylish rubber slip-ons.. and then again come the exasperated groans and looks of disbelief.
Regulars dutifully take notes as the next wave of horses parade onto the track at the RBSC’s Sunday races.Once his moment of glory is sufficiently catalogued, the horse is led back to the stables under a shower of catcalls from punters whose baht were on Santa, Gasinee and Fonluang.
Hope reigns eternal, or at least for a few seconds, at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club as 11 horses race through sweltering midday humidity towards the finish line. Cups of 100 Pipers whiskey are poured; more cigarettes are lit.
Horse racing in Bangkok dates back to 1892, when His Majesty King Rama V approved Briton Franklin Hurst’s petition to rent land and hold races in Sra Pratunam. The crowd cheers, and the announcer chatters in a sing-song cadence over the loud speakers. Nervous tension is palpable as the next race nears. With the next race beginning in 30 minutes, programs are reopened and notes dutifully taken as the next wave of horses parade onto the track.
Silence instantly engulfs the stands as the smallest horse in the field, Porn Charoen, scores its owner a 176,400-baht first-place prize in the second of 10 scheduled races in the Queen’s Cup, one of three signature events on Bangkok’s annual racing calendar.
Hundreds of croaking voices, parched with decades of nicotine, egg them on from a cement-block bandstand littered with empty water bottles, cigarette butts, discarded betting tickets and puddles of spit.
For the best views, head upstairs to the second deck. Somebody accidentally kicks over a tray of fish cakes when he springs to his feet as the horses round the bend … Minimum wagers are just 50 baht and range from simply picking the winner to picking trifectas (first-, second- and third-place finishers, in order). Most tellers speak some English.
Still, battered by losses, these regulars show a flinty determination.
After the third race I head upstairs to the second deck, where seats offer spectacular views of the expansive grounds, the Skytrain as it glides in and out of Ratchadamri station, and the high-rise condominiums and hotels of Rajprasong, Pathumwan and, in the distance, Pratunam.
Popular sentiment — and money — was apparently not with Porn Charoen, whose team receives little applause as it poses for victory photos with the horse. A guy in blinding white pants and a plum-colored dress shirt stamps out a Marlboro and pulls out a fresh pack.
Inside, gamblers lean on the stable fences, studying the horses as they’re bathed and led around a small sand track