From social gaming, there’s DerbyJackpot’s social gambling

By Dennis Clemente

Three months ago, DerbyJackpot ( went live. It’s a website that looks like an arcade game for kids, but there’s nothing “kiddie” about it. It’s real gambling with real horses—and from what we heard, it’s legal to make real bets in horse racing in 23 states. The only difference is it’s social gaming a.k.a. social gambling.

DerbyJackpot was presented at the first Ruby on Rails Meetup at General Assembly last March 20 as an example—it’s built on Ruby. The betting game is quite easy to track. You watch the race through a live video feed and bet on horse races around the country. The racetracks are located in the U.S. and Canada.

Being an online/social game, it’s supposed to be make real-world horse-betting a cinch—and winning, well, supposedly easy, too. As an example, DerbyJackpot says your 10 cents could win you over $10,000. Even better, you can reportedly cash out anytime and take your winnings immediately. The maximum bet is $20. Players can use their credit card or through online payment system called Dwolla.

Its social media components include having you play with or challenge your Facebook friends. You can play, watch, cheer them and of course, taunt them. The site is live in 23 states. It is restricted in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, New Jersey, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.

Emily Stolfo, Ruby engineer at 10gen and adjunct faculty at Columbia, presented how MongoDB works together with Ruby on Rails. 10Gen is behind MongoDB, a NoSQL database written in C++.

Many see MongoDB as the way to empower organizations to be agile and scalable, as it helps enable new types of applications, improve customer experience, accelerate time to market and reduce total cost of ownership.

The meetup also gave three new Rails developers the opportunity to demonstrate their own sites built on Rails, as they learned from their respective weeks-long classes at General Assembly. With no coding experience whatsoever, the students’ Rails sites clearly are a work in progress, but even experienced developers in the meetup applauded them for their efforts.

The meetup was hosted and organized by Chyld Medford, a Ruby on Rails instructor at General Assembly, a school for single classes to multi-day workshops on technology, business and design in the Flatiron District.

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Dennis Clemente

Shuttling between New York and other US cities, Dennis writes about tech meetups when he's not too busy working as a Web Developer/Producer + UX Writer and Digital Marketer.

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