Sigma Derby is an electro-mechanical horse race used for gambling manufactured by Japanese manufacturer Sigma Game Inc. and introduced in 1985. Up to ten players can buy in with quarters and place bets on the five horses; a quinella of two horses in any order pays out according to the odds. The house has roughly a 10-20% advantage, depending on the machine.
On June 9, 2007 the BigEmpire.com web site held the first ever Big Empire Sigma Derby Handicapper's Challenge to determine the best Sigma Derby player in the world. It was held at the New Frontier in front of a large crowd, and established the platform for future competitive derbying. Bob Black of Minneapolis, Minnesota won the championship after hitting a 6-1 horse combination on the very last race of the tournament. Subsequent years have crowned new champions using evermore sophisticated strategies. However, Bob Black still remains the all-time top money winner.
After the closing of the New Frontier Hotel and Casino, there are only two remaining Sigma Derby machines in Las Vegas. One on the Strip can be found at the MGM Grand Las Vegas as of March 24, 2014. The other is at the D Hotel in Downtown Las Vegas and was host to the Big Empire 2012 Sigma Derby Handicapper's Challenge, which did not produce a winner as the contestants became too inebriated to continue. There are also two Sigma Derby machines near the sportsbook area of the MontBleu casino/resort in Stateline, Nevada, and another machine at the Royal River Casino & Hotel in Flandreau, South Dakota.