Of course, gambling and investing have always been similar activities. The web just means we can admit it, and be a lot more serious about betting on something like a horse race.
Look at a new company called Equotion, based at Ilkley in West Yorkshire, which announces itself as a ‘Big Data Sports Betting Disrupter’ and claims to have developed a sophisticated automated system for picking winning nags. Equotion says it can create greater returns than any boring tracker fund.
It has, as the PR press release puts it, ‘developed the predictive technology to analyse vast amounts of race data to accurately select tips… Backers believe horse racing could become as reliable and consistent as the stock market and generate greater returns for private investors.’
Equotion’s software apparently ‘combs through 500 million pieces of information from seven years of past performance to single out the runners and riders most likely to win’. It promises at least 27 per cent accuracy, and that 60 per cent of its selections will be placed in their races. In this time of stagnant equity returns and global doubt, it’s a tempting idea.