Fruit machines by classic old names like Maygay and Barcrest have long adorned our high streets in bookmakers, casinos and pubs and with modern online big hitters like Playtech and Microgaming now having taken over the market share, online slots remain a major part of the modern gambling industry with many different variations now available. And on that thought, it may be asked as to why racehorses (or any type of equine species, for that matter), who are also a major part of the modern gambling industry don’t indulge in a spot of gambling or online slot gaming themselves from time to time. You’d think they’d be perfectly positioned to make a good hoof of it with their insider knowledge about the game, and the fact that their sheer existence is based around man’s want to win a few quid. Well, to pacify those who have been eagerly awaiting this answer and to educate a few of you who have never even had the awareness to consider this subject, I’ve strung together a few of what can really only be called, ‘my best guesses’. I’ve had to exclude some of the, perhaps, more expected answers like ‘it’s not in their nature’ or ‘they don’t have the desire to’ because, in my opinion, these types of comments are just blatantly unsubstantiated and totally unproven. Therefore, as I’m sure you can appreciate, this article has to be written from the viewpoint that horses would indeed enjoy a lengthy spinning session on Starburst, Rainbow Riches but, as you’re about to learn, a combination of their anatomic makeup coupled with their living circumstances on this homosapien dominated planet are such that prevents them from enjoying almost anything other than running and eating.
1) Too heavy hooved
If you consider that hitting the spin button on a real slot machine may be hard for a horse, then imagine the problems they’d face when using a mouse for the online version. The poor beast would forever be right-clicking and bringing up the settings menu, and more likely would just demolish it at the first attempt. I’ve considered whether having one of those snazzy modern mouses (mice?) that include a scroller may help but can’t see that improving the situation at all and these days it’s all about the hand held device. Unfortunately the outlook gets no better for our equine friends as their hooves would simply not have the sensitivity to activate any part of a touch screen device. Without the ability to hold the device upright either, they’d be forced to use it flat down on the floor and instead they may be best served in trying to get some screen traction by using their course, rubbery, wet, noses.
2) They have dichromatic vision
Unlike humans, horses can only see in about two colours, often blue and yellow, but this does vary. This would cause horsey havoc on most online games where the colour of the symbol is an important factor in determining the size of the wins. Consider the shambles of a session it could be if the horse in question has neither red nor black in its colour portfolio and yet settles down at a Roulette table for half an hour after its evening hay and water. The poor animal would have had to memorise all the numbers and which colour they relate to and prior to this it would most likely have had to ask another horse who can see the required colours which is which. On the face of it, this may seem feasible, but horses are not known for having strong memories when it comes to human numbers so once again they fall down in their attempt to break into the online casino world.
3 )Age Verification and Know Your Customer checks
As far as I know there is currently no relative calculation of human to horse years done on the doors of land based casinos and, nowadays, human or not, if you’re not eighteen you’re not coming in. Racehorses are very rarely older than thirteen or fourteen at an absolute maximum so, under current laws, it would be some years after their retirement that they would get the chance to actually gamble legally. This is exactly the same in the online world with Age Verification checks now a necessity for all players looking to open a new account. The horse could lie about its age initially but would soon require supporting documentation as part of the company’s ‘Know Your Customer’ policy. Even if the horse had a friend in a nearby field that could source a shady fake passport or driving licence, the chances of him or her being able to get their hooves on a utility bill from the last three months is unlikely.
4) Banking facilities
As some point in the future we’ll surely see an equine Bob Crowe emerge from the string to demand that racehorses get a bit more for their hard earned feats on the track. Maybe getting a bank account is a dream too far but they could at least store cash under their straw and run down the local bookies whilst the trainer isn’t looking.
5) Insider info
These days the bookies are quick to recognise a punter who may have insider knowledge so an actual racehorse signing up would be their version of an absolute nightmare. Unless… They allowed said racehorse to bet to reasonable stakes and then used the information to cut their prices to make more money themselves! It could be a match made in horse heaven but, as above, it’s highly unlikely the horse would have got this far.
So, it seems that racehorses are confined to the lives they currently lead for a while yet, but if they did manage to make it through to an online lobby, even if on Play Money mode, i’d like to think they’d be heading straight to either Microgaming’s Sure Win, and PlayTech’s Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven, or Coral’s Legend’s Of Racing.