Dear industry stakeholders, fans and observers,
By now, you have probably heard about the launch of EquiLottery, The Greatest Two Dollars in Sports. We have received coverage from every major publication in the Thoroughbred industry, which helped drive over 5,000 people to EquiLottery.com in our first 72 hours. We made our initial public splash last Friday when industry allies Sen. Damon Thayer and Rep. David Osborne gave EquiLottery a voice in their monthly Licensing & Occupations committee meeting in Frankfort, Kentucky’s capitol city. And I have received requests for presentations from fourteen states and provinces in both the racing and the lottery industries. To say this week outpaced my expectations would be a wild understatement.
As many of you know, this isn’t my first entrepreneurial foray in the racing industry. Back in May of 2008, I became a co-creator of the Paulick Report with my good friend Ray Paulick. This site may now be accepted as a success, but at the time, an odds maker would have put us down at 99-1. The fact I didn’t know the definition of the word furlong was hardly our only hurdle.
But we grew — developing a voice, a readership and an advertising base. Suddenly, I was in the Thoroughbred business and I really liked it. But the longer I was involved, the more I grew concerned about its long-term prospects. By the fall of 2009, I determined the problem had something to do with me not knowing two important racetracks were only 30-45 minutes away from the Chicago suburb I grew up in. We needed increased exposure and distribution.
How do we bring this thrilling sport to the masses? I became obsessed with finding an answer to that question. I toyed with several ideas, including the development of simplified past performances, and failed to come up with anything meaningful. But when I started to focus on the distribution the lottery could provide, a light bulb went off. Out of that, EquiLottery was born.
Since 2009, I’ve met with many decision makers in the industry. I’ve had the ear of important politicians and established businessmen. While few of those meetings went far in the moment, looking back, every one of them helped me to continue to shape this game. To those who gave me a few minutes of their time along the way, I am always grateful.
And you now know, thanks to reports in the Courier-Journal and Thoroughbred Daily News, EquiLottery has been discussed directly with the Kentucky Lottery. In the coming months and years, we’ll surely speak with many other lotteries across North America and the world. Additionally, this game is for all segments of the racing industry – Thoroughbred, Standardbred and Quarter Horse – and we look forward to bringing the game wherever there is demand. I hope this can be the beginning of a great partnership between the horse industry and all lottery corporations. Rising tides and all.
But I don’t just see this as a game. I see it as a chance to bring racing into the mainstream. I see it as a story of optimism and innovation for an industry that is just pulling itself out of hard times.
Ultimately, EquiLottery is my attempt to give back to an industry that has already been so good to me. There have been many setbacks over the last 4-1/2 years, but potentially creating a legacy of real, lasting industry growth is what has always kept my engine running.
I hope you’ll support this journey EquiLottery is currently on. This game has every chance to be that integration between horse racing and the lottery seemingly always just beyond our reach. Here’s to believing in a bright future for our industry. And bringing in another 99-1 shot.
Yours in Great Racing,
Brad Cummings, President and CEO, EquiLottery