Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A system of betting on races whereby the winners divide the total amount bet, after deducting management expenses, in proportion to the sums they have wagered individually.
  • n. A machine that records such bets and computes the payoffs.

Etymologies

French : pari, wager (from parier, to wager, from Latin pariāre, to settle a debt, from pār, par-, equal; see perə-2 in Indo-European roots) + mutuel, mutual (from Old French; see mutual).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Actually, considerable amounts of statistical evidence demonstrate that in pari-mutuel betting, an experienced bettor adopting a strategy based on short-odds bets and careful pool selection can generate a positive expected return.

    Resisting Efficient Markets, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Foreign-trained runners rarely start at odds-on for a Breeders' Cup race on the local pari-mutuel but the American backers are now so familiar with Goldikova that she feels like one of their own.

    Freddy Head has Goldikova ready to extend her Breeders' Cup record

  • As expert gamblers, they knew that the only way to make big money or avoid big losses on Wall Street, just as in pari-mutuel betting on horse races, is to do just the opposite of what the majority are doing.

    Dylan Evans: Don't blame gambling for the crisis!

  • After the American Civil War, pari-mutuel political markets grew wildly popular.

    Quick Study

  • And, of course, wistful comparisons with countries that operate pari-mutuel monopolies, as if that has any relevance to Britain, where there does not seem to be any shortage of horses, owners or racing in the record fixture list.

    Eight years on, and the bookies and racing are as far apart as ever

  • McDonnell a series of suggestions: pari-mutuel wagering; privatizing rest stops; establishing an "infrastructure bank," "changes to the state's revenue sharing program," and a "bipartisan blue ribbon transportation committee...to recommend how best to generate the resources necessary to develop and maintain such a transportation system."

    RPV Chair Outright Lies About "Democrat Legislators"

  • A message posted Wednesday on Off-Track Betting Corp.'s website says the company stopped pari-mutuel wagering operations Tuesday after the Senate measure failed to pass.

    Off Track Betting Shut Down After Senate Nixes Rescue Plan

  • Down in the jockeys 'changing-room, Piper Boles quietly distributed the pari-mutuel tickets which Marius Tollman had delivered: three thousand dollars' worth to each of the seven 'unsuccessful' riders in the tenth race, and ten thousand dollars 'worth to himself.

    The Elvis Latte

  • The first sight of the day's princes galvanised the crowds towards the pari-mutuel window like shoals of multicoloured fish.

    The Elvis Latte

  • In either case, it meant hanging around the pari-mutuel with your eyes open.

    The Elvis Latte

Comments

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  • "In 1933 California agreed to legalize wagering on two conditions. First, tracks had to use the pari-mutuel wagering machine instead of the bookmakers whose corruption had prompted the betting ban. Second, wagering would be heavily taxed. Racing was reborn."
    —Laura Hillenbrand, Seabiscuit: An American Legend (New York: Ballantine Books, 2001), 18–19

    October 20, 2008