How much in winnings does it take for to you consider it to be a big day betting horses at the track or an online racebook? $100? $1,000? At Ez Horse Betting we have some readers who would be happy to cash in a $50 winning ticket. Just imagine what you would do if you scored over $1 billion in profits betting horses. That is exactly what Bill Benter has managed to accomplish in a career of betting horse racing in Hong Kong.
About Bill Benter – Hong Kong Horse Bettor
Bill Benter looks like a computer nerd. That is essentially what he is, too. At 62 years old Benter still has that little boy gleam in his eye when he talks about technology. From an early age he exhibited a strong affinity for mathematics that steered him toward physics. He went to college at Case Western and the University of Bristol to complete a degree in physics.
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Along the way Benter stumbled upon a famous book titled Beat the Dealer by Edward O. Thorp. The book was published in the 1960s and introduced the concept of card counting at blackjack to the masses. Thorp believed that mathematics held the key to massive profits at blackjack. Bill Benter was sold on the idea and decided to move to Las Vegas. He was going to count cards instead of becoming a physicist.
Benter had some success at the blackjack tables. He even joined a team of card counters that made the rounds at the Vegas casinos. It was all going well until one day Benter was approached by casino security. He had been made as a card counter. Soon he found himself banned from the Las Vegas casinos.
After being banned Benter met a man named Alan Woods who had an interest in horse racing. Woods was very skilled at handicapping and was especially interested in Hong Kong horse racing. It was a location where the betting payoffs could be very high. He proposed that he combine his knowledge of horse racing with Benter’s knowledge of blackjack, mathematics, and computers. The rest, as they say, is history.
Benter and Woods decided to move to Hong Kong and develop a computer program that would analyze vast amounts of racing data to pick winners. The two men had a bankroll of more than $300,000, most of it obtained from card counting. They set up shop in a Hong Kong apartment and began to perfect the computer analysis that would make them winners.
Analyzing Hong Kong Horse Races with Computers
At the time Benter and Woods began their work with computers and horse racing no one else was taking such an approach. This was in 1984. It was Benter’s job to create a statistical model of factors that influenced the outcome of Hong Kong horse racing. What he discovered in the process of writing his software was that some factors were more important than others for picking winners.
Others soon joined the operation of Benter and Woods. One of them was named Robert Moore, a veteran of Hong Kong horse betting. The earliest experiments conducted by the partners did not work out well. They lost a significant sum of money. In May of 2018, Bill Benter decided to tell his Hong Kong horse race betting story to Bloomberg. It was the first time that he had spoken of the journey from physics major to big time horse bettor.
Bill Benter Wins Millions and Refuses to Cash Ticket
The profits soon began rolling in from Benter’s hard work. The team had to hire an office and more employees to keep track of the bets that were being made. Their work was not going unnoticed. One day Benter received a phone call from the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
In Hong Kong all betting is done under the supervision of the Hong Kong Jockey Club. The club allows betting on only horse racing and football matches. Betting with bookies and other individuals is not allowed. Benter was nervous when he got the phone call. He expected the club to inform him that he was being banned from betting.
On the contrary, the club was calling to congratulate Benter on his success. They also wanted to know if there was anything they could do to make betting easier for him! This may seem strange to American bettors but in Hong Kong things are different. Every dollar than Benter was betting meant more money in takeout for the Hong Kong Jockey Club. More takeout meant the club could donate more money to its various charities. Benter was a hero to the club.
The club even went so far as to tie in their betting toteboards to Benter’s computers so he could bet right from his offices instead of over the phone. You could even say that Bill Benter was the first online horse bettor.
Perhaps the biggest single score that Benter made was a $13 million dollar win on a single horse bet. After a discussion with his partner at the time, Benter decided that he could not cash the ticket. He actually rationalized that it would be unsporting of him to cash it because his computer program gave him such an edge at the game. The incident created the myth of the Ghost of Hong Kong Horse Racing.
Bill Benter Today
Bill Benter claims that he made in excess of $1 billion betting on Hong Kong horse races. He just might be the only horse bettor to ever make such a sum of money from betting. A few years after his $13 million win Benter fell out of grace with the Hong Kong Jockey Club. He eventually returned to Pennsylvania where he was born.
The bettor used a portion of his wealth to set up a charitable foundation. He met and married a lady from Hong Kong, and today they are known as philanthropists. This proves that not all gamblers are degenerate human beings.
In Hong Kong the days of Bill Benter are over, even though he claims to still bet the races. When Benter was in his prime his bets could drop the odds on a horse in a single flash of the tote board. There were even players who believed they could catch winners just by looking to see which horse received the most betting action in the later stages of a race.
Important Horse Betting Lessons from Bill Benter
There are some things that the horse bettor of today can learn from Bill Benter. The first and most important of these is that having the best handicapping information is what brings success at the track. He also proved that some variables in horse racing are more important than others, at least in Hong Kong.
One can also glean from Bill Benter that betting on races in Hong Kong can be very profitable. Since he was doing it “online” for a part of his career, today’s bettors should think about doing the same. Many online racebooks now permit wagering on Hong Kong horse racing. At some racebooks you can even bet with Bitcoin.
Maybe you will become the next Billion Dollar Man of Hong Kong Horse Racing.
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