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WOODBINE Racetrack

Dark Horse is the first of its kind, AI-powered mobile app that makes horse betting as easy as never before. With the help of N-iX Game & VR Studio, Woodbine Entertainment has launched a horse racing app that is claimed to be game-changing for the whole industry.

Woodbine Entertainment


Horse racing used to be mainly an aristocratic type of sport, and as the sense of aristocracy in the modern world slowly vanishes, the number of racetrack bettors also reduces. After all, racing is a complex subject that requires a profound knowledge of its specifics and extensive experience, and sometimes it’s just too much for newcomers to handle.

That is why it is of vital importance to come up with an effective way that would painlessly introduce beginners into the horse racing sport and easily communicate its many complexities to wider audiences.

Woodbine Entertainment, a world-class racing industry leader, decided that creating a mobile app is the perfect solution for this burning issue and chose N-iX Game & VR Studio to implement their vision into reality.


N-iX applied flexible methodologies of development when working on this project. We were searching for the best strategy, constantly analyzing the results of user testing to prove that our prototypes work as intended. Since we had to communicate a complex subject to wider audiences, one of our chief goals was to deliver a product with an optimized, seamless user experience that will immediately resonate with the target audience.

There are three most exciting aspects of the Dark Horse project that we are proud of as contributors. They are the possibility of live streaming, usage of Artificial Intelligence, and implementation of gamification elements, for which N-iX Game & VR Studio fully developed a backend.


Despite the inability to attend racetracks during the COVID-19 lockdown, bettors can still watch the upcoming spectator-free horse races live via the Dark Horse app. As said by Chris Lush, Woodbine Entertainment Group’s senior vice-president of information technology, it’s great to have a mobile app where you can bet on sports, but it’s another thing to be able to bet on a live event while you’re watching it.

Dark Horse utilizes an AI-powered algorithm called QUBE. It examines and evaluates statistics from thousands of races across North America and analyses horses’ parameters, weather conditions, and jockey’s track record. All these to present optimal candidates for betting to the user. AI usage helps to skip all the unnecessary complexities and show users only the data that they can easily digest. This leads to more educated bets and higher odds of winning.

Besides, the users can bet not only with real money, but they can also play for free using bonus points. Dark Horse app includes many game principles, such as leveling, different achievements, boosters, etc.


Dark Horse is claimed to be the most innovative thing that has happened to horse racing in the past 25 or 30 years. It is the long-awaited game-changer that the industry needed. The app successfully engages the younger demographic and exposes the sport to wider audiences.

Our meticulous work on UI and UX seems to bear its fruits since the Dark Horse app got an average rating of just over four (out of five) in the App Store, and a lot of the feedback has been very positive so far. But we don’t just stop here, we continue to analyze user reviews and polish every element of the app.

Woodbine Entertainment are feeling very good about the work N-iX Game & VR Studio did, and they hope that Dark Horse will help them build a new generation of horse racing fans in Canada.


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