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View Full Version : What's been accomplished so far in 2009


Imriledup
07-20-2009, 05:44 AM
I've been reading posts here for a couple years now and there are many extremely intelligent posters with some awesome ideas for the racing industry. Just want to get a 2009 recap, what great ideas have been implemented by racetracks so far this year? Anyone have a list?

To my knowledge, no tracks have lowered takeout. More than one smart person has said tracks need to lower takeout, yet no tracks have listened. Why have no tracks listened?

lamboguy
07-20-2009, 07:28 AM
I've been reading posts here for a couple years now and there are many extremely intelligent posters with some awesome ideas for the racing industry. Just want to get a 2009 recap, what great ideas have been implemented by racetracks so far this year? Anyone have a list?

To my knowledge, no tracks have lowered takeout. More than one smart person has said tracks need to lower takeout, yet no tracks have listened. Why have no tracks listened?the tracks and ntra have taken every single step to stick the racing business under the either and send the sport 60 feet into the ground. i have never seen a business that is more self distructing in my life.

LottaKash
07-20-2009, 10:58 AM
Isn't if funny that we horseplayers can see this so clearly (tracks unwilling to make any noticeable or effectual changes), and yet the tracks themselves, remain cluless about their probable or impending demise(s)....

best,

Cangamble
07-20-2009, 11:54 AM
I've been reading posts here for a couple years now and there are many extremely intelligent posters with some awesome ideas for the racing industry. Just want to get a 2009 recap, what great ideas have been implemented by racetracks so far this year? Anyone have a list?

To my knowledge, no tracks have lowered takeout. More than one smart person has said tracks need to lower takeout, yet no tracks have listened. Why have no tracks listened?
Woodbine has lowered their triactor takeout from 28.3%, but it is still brutal at 27%.
California decided not to entertain an extra takeout increase.
More ADWs now have more content since HANA began (coincidence or not).
Rebate is becoming less of a dirty word.
More and more people understand the takeout issue now than they did before HANA began.


The thing about change, is that it doesn't happen overnight. We are becoming more and more educated on how the system really works, and what changes are possible, and how we can influence those changes.

As for not representing the majority bettors (brought up on another thread), the board is composed of bettors who have some connection to the industry. We share common goals, and the goals of the average bettor, but we might be more connected than the average bettor because of most of our connections to the industry, which I feel gives us an advantage when it comes to the learning curve, and figuring out what can be done and what is doable.

I can't speak for all board members for sure, but I believe we all share the hope for industry growth through attracting more players/customers/bettors.

The only way that will happen is the lowering the price of gambling on horses. Sure, if the industry is to adopt a maximum takeout of 12-14%, that would be great, but it is unrealistic at this time. But a 14% takeout after rebates for all that want it, that is a possibility....

And yes, in the meantime, the industry needs to clean up their act when it comes to drugs and past posting, and still it is important that all signals be available for all.

But there is so many different state laws, and protectionism that goes on in the industry, many battles need to be fought one at a time.
Take the Arizona internet law for example.

And yes, we are a volunteer organization. We do not make money doing this. Now, I just want to say that I don't believe there is a such thing as altruism. People do things that appear altruistic for at least the positive rush it gives us, even if we do things that appear unselfish with an unemotional face. I also think that humans are driven to preach and do things that they think are the right things to do. It gives us a sense of purpose.
But lets just say that for the most part, the HANA board members are driven by what appears to be altruism.:)

Warren Henry
07-20-2009, 11:58 AM
Isn't if funny that we horseplayers can see this so clearly (tracks unwilling to make any noticeable or effectual changes), and yet the tracks themselves, remain cluless about their probable or impending demise(s)....

best,

Why should we be surprised at the path taken by the "powers that be" in racing. They are not interested in anyone other than themselves. They are not unique in this respect. Look at the leaders of the country itself, at the leaders of the financial industry, etc.

Please don't spin this thread out of control, I am just attempting to point out that, in general, too many have slipped into a "ME FIRST" mode of thinking.

DeanT
07-20-2009, 12:54 PM
There has been movement in key areas this year that players have long been pushing. Not enough, but some. In November was the ADW situation in Cali. It is not rectified, however cali is offered at places that rebate to small players, lowering their take and offering the signal. Hawthorne introduced their player rewards for on track and off track patrons. You have to bet some money to get 4 points, but 4 points for a track to offer is huge. Small players who sign up can get a one point reduction and some perks - an on track program at HAW is better than is offered to players at places like TS and Youbet, which is pretty big news.

If tracks go to gvts and want to make takeout more, they are entertained, because politicians know less about gambling than many in the business do. With this not happening so far in 2009, this is a good thing and I think it would have happened without some promo against it from the betting community. When Calder raised takeouts in early 2008 they said it was "because we need more money". You do not hear that any longer from racing. Education is helping, imo.

Another way the game seems to be changed is on field size and watered down product. You would rarely hear a big push for field size from the business. They wanted to race a lot, and figured it was no big deal. This year we saw them focus on putting out deeper races. So cal cut a day to do it, other places like Saratoga are trying something else. Even people inside the racing community, in horseman groups and so on are now talking field size. That is another good thing, imo.

There is nothing monumental in this, but for a fractured business who has operated virtually identically for many decades, the thinking we are starting to see from some is tangible, imo. The needle is moving in 2009.

As for an anecdotal example: At a conference in 2008 I presented the cases for lower takeout, discussing much of what we discuss here - the studies, overseas rates, betfair, betting per capita there versus here, etc. The response was not good. "We cant do that, it wont work, look at laurel, you are nuts, it does not work". This year at the 2009 conference all I heard from the same people was "yes our takeout is too high and we agree"

Maybe next year it will be "we have to start lowering takeout and here is how we plan to do it". It is a slow business to move, but it seems to be moving.

LottaKash
07-20-2009, 03:29 PM
Why should we be surprised at the path taken by the "powers that be" in racing. They are not interested in anyone other than themselves. They are not unique in this respect. Look at the leaders of the country itself, at the leaders of the financial industry, etc.

Please don't spin this thread out of control, I am just attempting to point out that, in general, too many have slipped into a "ME FIRST" mode of thinking.

Unfortunately Warren, you are so right on this....These are the times that we live in, and like a "virus" the greed and apathy is spreading to all venues of commerce, and racetracks are no exception...

We "horseplayers" are the "squeaky wheels", so perhaps if we continue our little "rants" they may grease us a bit.....Here's hoping....:rolleyes:

best,