The Kentucky Derby is one of the most famous sporting traditions in the United States. Next to the Super Bowl, it's probably the most popular sporting event for the casual fan to bet on. Just pick a name of a horse that sounds interesting, put down $2, and you could walk away with thousands of dollars. Last year, according to Bloomberg Crypto, people bet over $100 million on the Kentucky Derby. And this year, there's a new option: placing your bet with Bitcoin instead of fiat.
This could be a great new way for the Kentucky Derby to attract a new, younger audience that is investing in crypto. And it could also be a great way to attract offshore and international money to bet on the race. Betting on horses can be somewhat complicated from a legal perspective, especially if you are not physically located near the track on the day of the race. And how many people are actually going to make the trip to Louisville, Kentucky each year? So, for that reason, I think Bitcoin has the potential to make the race more accessible for a larger audience. At the very least, it's good PR, right?
So how do you actually bet with Bitcoin?
To place my first Bitcoin bet, my first inclination was to check out the website for Twin Spires, which is the betting site owned by Churchill Downs, the venue of the Kentucky Derby. But I didn't see any Bitcoin deposit options here - there were options for PayPal, MoneyGram, GreenDot, debit cards and credit cards, but no Bitcoin.
My next stop on my quest to bet with Bitcoin was US Racing, which has been promoting the whole bet with Bitcoin idea. However, as I found out, even though it's called US Racing, it's actually based offshore in the Caribbean -- not sure if my state allows this. So I might be forced to head out to a physical, brick-and-mortar OTB or nearby casino to make a few bets on the 144th Kentucky Derby.
Photo by Gene Devine on Unsplash