Derby Cash Horse Racing, a new virtual betting product created by Inspired Entertainment, was released by Pennsylvania Lottery on Tuesday. The digital races, whose outcomes are decided by a random computerised draw, run every five minutes and can be seen at about 2k Lottery stores, including bars and restaurants, with a top $800k reward for a $1 stake.
Lottery exec manager Drew Svitko said Derby Cash would give players “the experience of having a front-row seat for racing action,” apparently unaware that racing is nowhere near the draw it was once. But Svitko maintains that games on the subject of racing “are popular in other states among lottery players.”
Derby Cash follows the release of Xpress Sports last year, which promised simulated action on football and car racing. Yet Xpress Sports has so far seriously undermined Pennsylvania punters, generating revenue of just $1 m to date, a far cry from the $13 m the lottery expected to bring in the item.
After their launch in mid-2018, the slot-like games offered by Pennsylvania’s online lottery have proved far more successful, generating sales of $381 m and profits of $31.3 m in their first year of operation, despite protests from state casino operators that the Lottery was horning in on their gaming turf.
This month, iLottery revealed its largest online reward to date, a $300k payday won by a customer through the Cash Buster Extreme play, creating some great PR for iLottery. It’s a far cry from Michigan’s online lottery’s $1 m prizes, but it’s a start.
Whether the success of the iLottery will survive the recent launch of actual online casino play by the government remains to be seen. There are currently only a handful of online gambling sites operating locally, but their revenue in October was one-fifth higher than it was in September, and that speed is expected to increase as more operators and more goods come online.