Friends launch fantasy horse racing site to combat problem gambling
- Credit: Racing Stars/Courtesy of Danny Williams
A trio of friends from Norfolk and Waveney have launched a fantasy horse racing platform in a bid to rival heavyweight bookies and combat problem gambling.
Following almost two years of development, Racing Stars will soon be unveiled by Danny Williams, from Wymondham, and Lowestoft pair Stephen Evans and Nathan Thompson.
The platform offers a single meeting each day and encourages players to choose a horse from each race, before placing a token worth £1 towards a daily and weekly prize pot.
Points are accumulated by horses winning or placing in their races, with the specific number dependent on their odds and how high up they finish.
The person with the most points at the end of each day or week wins the jackpot.
But with users only permitted to play once per day, meaning they can spend no more than £7 a week, the site's creators hope to contribute to the fight against gambling addiction.
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"The downside of regular betting at the moment is that it is done for people to chase their losses and spend as much money as possible," said Mr Williams, 24.
"Fundamentally the system is flawed because, if you don't win or place, that's it and you end up putting another tenner on.
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"That is why there is such bad problem gambling around and we know people who have been really badly affected.
"Steve came to us with this idea and we absolutely loved it. Ultimately we wanted to create a game that helps reduce problem gambling."
Development of Racing Stars began in July 2019 and it took the founders a period of eight months to obtain a license from the gambling commission.
An investment of £50,000 has been injected, with another £100,000 pledged, and already the young company has been valued at £750,000.
The site, which even has support from the Racing Post, is set to be officially launched on May 31.
"A key thing was actually raising investment funds because we have put absolutely everything into this," added Mr Williams.
"It is amazing as well to see people like the Racing Post helping out.
"We're so excited to see it launch, and to suddenly be two weeks ago is scary."