A Game of Skill.com was founded by Rich Nilsen, who selected his college path back in 1988 with the going of obtaining a lifelong job within the racing industry. Rich chose the University of Louisville Equine Business Program over Princeton University because of his love for the “Sport of Kings.” Shortly after graduating from UofL in 1992, he started his own racing operation, Soundview Stables, which operated “in the black” for most of the 10 years that the stable ran horses in the Midwest. Around the same time, Rich began to work for Bloodstock Research Information Services (Brisnet.com), where he was employed as their Marketing Director for over 17 years. In early 2000 the company started an ADW, BrisBET.com, which grew to become one of the largest online wagering companies in the industry.

In 2007 the popular online database company (Brisnet) and wagering entity (BrisBET) were purchased by Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) as part of a package for  the hefty sum of $80 million. BrisBET was morphed into TwinSpires.com, which quickly became one of top two ADWs in the country along with TVG. Rich stayed on with CDI for four years, before leaving to go out on his own in 2011.

Rich is now a horse racing consultant for an up-and-coming ADW called Premier Turf Club, President of an e-book publishing firm AllStarPress.com, and founder of this website. Rich has written for leading equine publications including The HorsePlayer Magazine, American Turf Monthly, The Thoroughbred Times and websites such as KentuckyDerby.com.

So why start A Game of Skill.com? It’s simple. What separates horse racing handicapping from other forms of gambling, with the exception of poker, is the aspect of skill. In handicapping the player can turn the odds in his or her favor by applying solid handicapping fundamentals. The advantage becomes all the more greater if the same player also applies solid money management tenets. The majority of horseplayers do one well and the other poorly, or just do neither well.

Horse racing is a pari-mutuel game in which the bettors are playing against each other. Yes, the house takes a cut (referred to as the takeout), but the play is against each other. It is not against a one-armed bandit which is designed with one goal in mind – slowly bleed the player dry.

I started this site because it irks me that the industry is not explaining well to prospective fans and bettors that this game can be more enjoyable than other forms of gambling. The industry is not promoting the fact that handicapping is an intellectual challenge. It is that challenge that has drawn so many fans into this sport and kept them for a lifetime. It is the challenge to say “I am smarter than you. I know who is going to win this race.”

It’s a game where you can pool money together with friends and take down a five or six-figure Pick-6 payoff. It’s a sport where you can enjoy the majestic beauty of one of God’s finest creatures.

Horse racing is entertainment where the average Joe can walk into the grandstand with fifty dollars in his pocket and stand a reasonable chance of walking out with most of that money still there.

Online horse racing betting is the only form of legal online wagering in the United States, with the except of poker which is now legal (as of May 2014) in three states. If you polled 100 people on the street, it is likely that 99 of them would not know that little nugget of information about the Sport of Kings. To say the industry has done a poor job of promoting that fact would be an understatement of epic proportions. Consequently, the industry has also done a poor job exploiting this advantage.

If you love this sport like I do, then please bookmark this site, visit every day, and share the stories with your friends via email, social networks, etc. If you are new to horse racing, well…it’s time to get educated. Kick back and enjoy the many features that I will be constantly adding to the site.

Agameofskill.com - A game of skill horse racing handicapping

 Some of the goals of AGameofSkill.com include:

  • To be an advocate for this great sport.
  • Educate fans who are interested in learning more about handicapping.
  • Work with existing fans to promote the sport.
  • Teach other gamblers why they should take a closer look at horse racing and away from mindless games of chance.
  • Improve the handicapping skills of players of all levels.
  • Improve the bottom line, financially, for horseplayers
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