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Jeff P
09-05-2009, 04:18 PM
AN ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF A PARIMUTUEL RACETRACK-RACEBOOK
http://cobweb2.louisville.edu/eip/Newsletters/research/economic%20analysis.pdf

The above link is to an economic study found on the University of Louisville, Equine Industry Program, College of Business site. The study was published in Feb,1998 and contains an analysis of 1995 wagering data at Garden State Park in NJ. The study points out factors that have been shown to influence wagering (handle) both on track and at simulcast venues.

Excerpt from pages 8-9:
Examining the own-elasticities, it can be seen that of the four variables, wagering on a subject racetrack's races is most elastic with respect to its takeout rate, least elastic with respect to its average purse and comparably elastic with respect to number of races and average field size. The median takeout rate elastici~ was found to be -2.30 indicating that wagering is strongly responsive to takeout rate changes. This is consistent with prior findings in the literature (Gruen, 1976; Morgan and Vasche, 1979, 1980, 1982; Suits, 1979; Thalheimer and Ali, 1992, 1995a, 1995b; Ali and Thalheimer, 1997).

The takeout rate of -2.30 indicates that revenue will increase with a drop in takeout rate up to the optimum level where takeout rate elasticity is -1.00. If host fee cost is deducted from the takeout rate the optimum level will occur at an elasticity greater than -1.00. It can be shown that for elasticities of the order of magnitude found in this study, the present level of takeout rate is such that it can be lowered without changing the host track fee, to increase net revenue to the racetrack-racebook (after host fee deduction). ..However, the racetrack-racebook will get a proportionally lower increase in net revenue than the host racetrack. For example, at a takeout rate level of 20% and a host fee of 3%, the net revenue maximizing elasticity is computed to be -1.18 which is still less than the typical elasticity of -2.3 found in this study. Of course, if the host track fee is lowered in proportion to the change in takeout rate, revenue for all parties (host track, racetrack-racebook, horsemen) will increase in the same proportion.

Median own-elasticities with respect to number of races and average field size were found to be 0.64 and 0.58, respectively. There is no prior study to gauge the magnitudes of these elasticities but it seems wagering is moderately responsive to changes in number of races or field size. Finally, median average purse elasticity was found to be 0.06 which is considerably smaller than elasticity with respect to takeout rate, number of races or field size. This average purse elasticity is quite small and it suggests, for example that wagering would increase by only 6% if purse were doubled. This is a surprising finding considering the importance that is attached to the purse variable in all major policy decisions to increase the wagering in this industry.
I added bolding to emphasize that last sentence. Instead of making an effort to give customers what customers want - track operators and horsemen's groups have consistently ignored the findings of this and other studies - and have instead tried to force "we put on the show" down our throats.

I'm not saying I don't enjoy top quality racing. I do. But why do track operators and horsemen keep missing the big picture?

It's attractiveness from a gambling standpoint first and foremost that drives handle - which is the lifeblood of this game.

Takeout, field size, and wagering integrity - these are the critical big picture issues that absolutely need to be addressed. If the industry would go back to square one and just focus on that, purses will take care of themselves.


-jp

.

DeanT
09-05-2009, 05:17 PM
Jeff,

The correlation between better purses and racing stock as a rise in handles has been disproven for a long time. But when you see industry insiders speak of it, that simple truism is ignored (see Fred Pope). This, imo, is because it is self serving, and they have a megaphone. i.e. if they yell really really loud to governments and so on that if you raise purses people will flock to bet the product, perhaps they will give us more money.

It is the pandemic problem in racing - too many voices yelling about their own slices and not thinking about the overall health of the game instead. It is what has got us into this mess and I dont think it is changing anytime soon.

In door number one prove to the folks in racing that a 3% purse reduction placed into lower take will grow racing in year two and we will have more money for all............... and in door number two offer them a 3% purse increase that will result in lower handles and less money in year two; they will choose door number two every time.

Horseplayersbet.com
09-05-2009, 07:10 PM
Jeff,

The correlation between better purses and racing stock as a rise in handles has been disproven for a long time. But when you see industry insiders speak of it, that simple truism is ignored (see Fred Pope). This, imo, is because it is self serving, and they have a megaphone. i.e. if they yell really really loud to governments and so on that if you raise purses people will flock to bet the product, perhaps they will give us more money.

It is the pandemic problem in racing - too many voices yelling about their own slices and not thinking about the overall health of the game instead. It is what has got us into this mess and I dont think it is changing anytime soon.

In door number one prove to the folks in racing that a 3% purse reduction placed into lower take will grow racing in year two and we will have more money for all............... and in door number two offer them a 3% purse increase that will result in lower handles and less money in year two; they will choose door number two every time.
Woodbine would be getting the exact same handles if they cut their purses in half.

rrbauer
09-06-2009, 12:37 PM
Woodbine would be getting the exact same handles if they cut their purses in half.

It pretty much answers Jeff's question about the "big" picture. It's horseplayers who can't see the big picture, insisting that there's a place for them at the industry table and insisting that making nice with the people who continue to dismiss them as little more than static is the correct posture.

Why sould the industry change its stance? We're the ones who keep coming back for more.

DJofSD
09-06-2009, 01:13 PM
We're the ones who keep coming back for more.

Not really. It seems we're coming back for less.

But, seriously, I find I am going back less often and wagering less as time goes on. I am not interested in west coast racing as much as I used to be. I don't like the short fields that predominate the non-maiden races, and, I don't like the plastic dirt.

Yes, I know, people (i.e. whales) do well the AW surfaces but I find it easier to handicap east coast tracks and turf races, so, that is how I spend my time. My perception is there are larger fields outside of California, so again, that is where I spent my time and money. Easily, I've bet more races outside California during the Del Mar meeting than I have on track.

Closing day at Del Mar will be this upcoming Wednesday. I doubt I'll go. I'll save the $8 parking fee and the $5 admission and pay for a nice dinner (or most of it at least) and my favorite mid-level seafood place instead.

Not only does the industry not get it when it comes to take out, they don't get it when it comes to even retaining the "more mature" fans. They can't keep the die hards and they aren't getting any new fans. The future looks grim. (Glad I can go golfing with my son.)

DeanT
09-06-2009, 02:17 PM
Woodbine would be getting the exact same handles if they cut their purses in half.

Ontario purses are a conduit for doling out slots cash. They do that really well. Most jurisdictions that are looking at slots could fix a lot of the mistakes here, but they simply copy and paste the agreement it seems.

highnote
09-06-2009, 02:58 PM
I'm reading "Moneyball" for the second time. The thing that (pardon the pun) strikes me harder this time through the book is how strongly Major League Baseball teams are tied to tradition when it came to acquiring new players. The GMs relied on scouting reports because that was the way it was done. The teams with the biggest bankrolls could buy the best players the scouts could identify.

It wasn't until Billy Bean, the GM of the Oakland A's, started doing something different and having success that the industry noticed.

What did he do differently? He started using scientific analysis of statistical data to decide which players to sign. He found outstanding players that the scouts were overlooking. The players Bean signed were undervalued in the marketplace.

What do the most successful horseplayers use to develop their wagering systems? Scientific statistical analysis.

Academic studies have shown that reducing takeout rates will increase handle. Academic studies have shown that increasing purses will result in less of an increase in handle than a reduction in takeout.

Maybe it's time for the GMs of racetracks to start seeking out scientific means on which to base their decisions rather than rely on tradition.

By the way, DJofSD may have been joking in his reply to rrbauer, but there is a lot of truth to both of their statements. Horseplayers are still coming back, but for a lot less.

Maybe racetracks are like homeless alcoholics -- until they hit bottom they will not start to recover. Unfortunately, some homeless alcoholics never recover and end up dying in the street.

What will be the fate of your racetrack?

DeanT
09-06-2009, 04:13 PM
I hate it when John places other sports into people's minds.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Takeout & Some Fat Cat Republicans (http://blog.horseplayersassociation.org/2009/09/takeout-some-fat-cat-republicans.html)

At HANA we study the data and try to come up with a worthwhile policy. Over the past year we have tried to present any data we find as plainly as we can. What we have discovered is that when the data speaks forcefully about something, almost without fail the industry tends to file it away, if it does not fit their preconceived notions, or biases.

In 1998 the University of Louisville came out with a comprehensive economic study of some of the factors that effect wagering (http://cobweb2.louisville.edu/eip/Newsletters/research/economic%20analysis.pdf). They looked at a few factors and how our customers react to them: Field size, size of purses, takeout reductions and number of races. What they found should not be surprising: A reduction of takeout results in the highest increase of handle (e=-2.3), followed by field size and number of races (e=~ 0.60) and coming in last was purse size (e=0.06).

So in a nutshell, if we place money into increasing purses from the mean it will have literally no effect on overall handles. If we place cash into field size and number of races it will have a small effect on handle. If we place cash into lowering takeout, it will result in a large hike in handle.

The report states: ".... wagering would increase by only 6% if purse were doubled. This is a surprising finding considering the importance that is attached to the purse variable in all major policy decisions to increase the wagering in this industry."

This is not shocking, nor surprising. Massive purses increases in Ontario, at Penn National, Philly Park, Presque Ilse and many other slot rich tracks have done nothing to increase handles. In fact, handle has dove further than the congress's approval ratings.

So why when we read over and over again that if we have more money placed into purses all will be well (http://www.paulickreport.com/blog/priority-1-racings-business-model/)? Why do we keep raising takeout rates instead of lowering them?

I think the answer is as plain as day. We don't have someone there to make decisions and give everyone one swift kick in the ass. The people in charge want more money now, and to hell with tomorrow. Facts don't matter, money right now does.

In the 1960's the National Football League had some issues and that was television. Pete Rozelle, the commissioner, had to convince the owners that television was the way of the future and that the only way the sport could grow was to work out a collective plan to exploit it for the leagues gain. The owners were up in arms. At that time live gate was the major revenue driver for football. The owners, especially in small cities did not want to do this, fearing a loss of gate revenue.

Eventually Rozelle convinced these businessmen that the status-quo was not an option. The NFL was the first league to embrace television, creating NFL films, the Super Bowl and much more.

Fast forward several years. As television got bigger and bigger and the league and teams were making more and more money there were the inevitable problems. Up popped revenue sharing. Rozelle had to convince 30 or so folks that sharing TV revenue would be good for all.

It worked. Multi-billion dollar TV deals has made the NFL the most successful sport in the western world.

In the words of Art Modell, the then Cleveland Browns owner: Rozelle got "a bunch of fat cat republicans to become socialists".

Now let's think about this: How did a league worth millions upon millions with owners the ego the size of the federal deficit agree on something so large and fundamental to do what is right for everyone, not just a few? The easy answer is that they had a commissioner, and I think that is too easy.

Let's rewind to 1960, but apply some racing to it. Not only is there 25 or 30 owners of the AFL/NFL temas sitting around the table, but each team has a player group associated with it. The players all have a seat and there is not one, but one for each team. As well, let's say they control 50% of all the revenues.

Would they have been able to get together to do what is right? Not a chance.

My bet: The player organization in New York would vote "no" to television to protect their large salaries. The player organization in Green Bay would be mad at them, and not give an inch. The owners would throw their arms in the air and want to leave the madness. Rozelle would probably quit and send in an application to work for the NBA.

In 2009 players are signing ten million dollar contracts due to the forward thinking that went on in the 1960's. Without that forward thinking they would probably be making a million a year, if they were lucky.

In racing we keep slinging billions of slot money to purses and appeasing the masses, because it is easy. It is inconsequential that this has proven to be our death-knell. It is inconsequential that we already put 6% in handle to purses, whle the UK places 0.99% into them and are healthier than we are. The people who yell loudest win. Instead of lowering take and increasing handles, and making our sport more popular, we opt for the cash.

We have hundreds of acronym groups in racing. It is easier to appease, rather than lead. And that my friends is a disease that has infiltrated racing for a hundred years, and that is what we have to extinguish. If we do not, handles will be down even more in 2011 than they have this year and last, and brick by brick racing will fall further down in the sports and gambling conscience of the North American public.
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Posted by HANA at 2:29 PM (http://blog.horseplayersassociation.org/2009/09/takeout-some-fat-cat-republicans.html)
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Horseplayersbet.com
09-06-2009, 04:37 PM
Great post. No writer's block whatsoever.

highnote
09-06-2009, 05:05 PM
I agree. Great post, Dean.

Did you notice I changed my signature line?

It now reads: " 'There is always an easy solution to every human problem -- neat, plausible and wrong.' -- H. L. Mencken"

I saw that quote and immediately it reminded me of the racing industry.

PrairieMeadows
09-07-2009, 01:39 PM
If we assume that a track has a blended take of 20%. I think that the paper indicated an elasticity of -3.0, that is for every 1% decrease in takeout, handle should increase 3%.

My question is whether the percent is in reference to a percentage increase or decrease in takeout qua takeout, or as a percentage of takeout. In other words to say takeout has decreased 1% are we saying that take out has gone from 20% to 19%, or are we saying it has gone from 20% to 19.8%?

Any insight would be appreciated.

highnote
09-07-2009, 02:39 PM
Takeout & Some Fat Cat Republican

In the words of Art Modell, the then Cleveland Browns owner: Rozelle got "a bunch of fat cat republicans to become socialists".



The problem with the fat cat racetrack owners is that they all want to follow George Steinbrenner's model. His model has worked pretty well in a big market like NY, but the smaller market teams have not fared so well.

However, Billy Bean of the Oakland A's found a way to compete -- his new way of managing was a paradigm shift. Bean's methods were adopted by the Red Sox. The Red Sox have won the World Series since then.

Awhile back I wrote on the HANA blog that racing needs a paradigm shift -- a betting exchange.

I still believe that they do. However, I also believe they need to be socialistic about it -- kind of like the Equibase model. The racing industry should collectively own and operate the betting exchange. All tracks (or at least a group of tracks) could be listed on the exchange and those tracks could share revenue from the exchange.

The only reason exchanges are not legal in this country is because the racetrack executives FEAR they will somehow lose control of the money that is bet on their product. (Does Aqueduct slot revenue ring a bell? The delay is because of the fight over who will get to receive money from slot machines.) Well, if racetracks fear letting someone run a betting exchange then they should own it -- collectively.

And it's only by coming together collectively and in unity that they will be able to make a betting exchange a reality in this country.

They could form a company using the NY Stock Exchange model and issue an IPO. The tracks could still be the majority holders of the stock. Then use the money from the IPO to start up the exchange.

It's just another market and no different than from what Hedge Street is doing. You can bet on the price of gold or housing prices on Hedge Street (now called NADEX.com) and not worry about owning the underlying commodity. Hedge Street is regulated by the CFTC.

Hell, why not get CFTC approval? Given the connections the racetrack owners have to government it should not be hard to win federal approval -- especially if it is regulated by CFTC. One thing government organizations strive for his to have more organizations under their umbrella.

One thing is certain, eventually a betting exchange will be legalized. The question is who will operate it?

chickenhead
09-07-2009, 04:02 PM
My question is whether the percent is in reference to a percentage increase or decrease in takeout qua takeout, or as a percentage of takeout. In other words to say takeout has decreased 1% are we saying that take out has gone from 20% to 19%, or are we saying it has gone from 20% to 19.8%?


It would be as a percentage of takeout...it just happens that takeout is also a percentage. I think they suggested 2.3 was the average, for those tracks at that time.

Seems like it would be higher or lower for a track that had higher or lower takeouts than the average of those they studied (and you'd probably need to use effective takeout, to account for a certain percentage of current handle coming through lower effective takeout rebate bettors).

DeanT
09-07-2009, 04:28 PM
One thing is certain, eventually a betting exchange will be legalized. The question is who will operate it?

Sorry to sound like a downer but, if a betting exchange is operated here a few things could happen:

1. The tracks and horsemen would try and create it. They would charge for data, slap restrictions on betting against horses, charge 22% takeouts on it and then complain when it fails.

2. Betfair would put in an application. When handle is shown to explode and younger demos would be interested putting racing back in the psyche of the North American public people will cheer, but when only 1% of the action would be returned to purses, everyone would be up in arms and not allow them to do it; or strikes would ensue with horseman withholding entries.

3. A private group would come in and make another offer. They would win the business, appease the various groups on everything, charge too high a price, have no liquidity and it will fail. Horseman groups and Fred Pope will then proclaim that bettors are not price sensitive and that betting exchanges will not work in North America. They will then ask for new bets to be created to be sold in corner stores, at 36% takeouts with them getting 24% and the 12% split between host and distributor. When that fails they will blame the economy, the lack of advertising on billboards on major highways, and Bob Evans.

highnote
09-07-2009, 04:39 PM
Sorry to sound like a downer but, if a betting exchange is operated here a few things could happen: ......

That all sounds plausible. Oh well. There's always the status quo to cling to.

Although, it begs the question, why would someone choose the slow road to death over a shot at salvation?

PrairieMeadows
09-07-2009, 08:04 PM
Building a model, want to make sure that I am on the right track.

So, if we assume a track is starting at 20% blended takeout and 2.3 is the demand elasticity does the following model for effect make sense? (~handle doubles at 11% and triples at 2%?)

Takeout % Chng % increase in handle
1 -95% 219%
2 -90% 207%
3 -85% 196%
4 -80% 184%
5 -75% 173%
6 -70% 161%
7 -65% 150%
8 -60% 138%
9 -55% 127%
10 -50% 115%
11 -45% 104%
12 -40% 92%
13 -35% 81%
14 -30% 69%
15 -25% 58%
16 -20% 46%
17 -15% 35%
18 -10% 23%
19 -5% 12%
20 0

Horseplayersbet.com
09-07-2009, 08:57 PM
Building a model, want to make sure that I am on the right track.

So, if we assume a track is starting at 20% blended takeout and 2.3 is the demand elasticity does the following model for effect make sense? (~handle doubles at 11% and triples at 2%?)

Takeout % Chng % increase in handle
1 -95% 219%
2 -90% 207%
3 -85% 196%
4 -80% 184%
5 -75% 173%
6 -70% 161%
7 -65% 150%
8 -60% 138%
9 -55% 127%
10 -50% 115%
11 -45% 104%
12 -40% 92%
13 -35% 81%
14 -30% 69%
15 -25% 58%
16 -20% 46%
17 -15% 35%
18 -10% 23%
19 -5% 12%
20 0
I think you are correct, but that assumes that more players don't come around if takeout drops to 11%.

Lets look at things in another way. Slot operators know that optimum takeout for slots is around 10%, if they felt that they would even make a dollar more at 20%, take would be at 20%.

That means that at 10% they get at least twice as much as handle then they would if takeout was 20%.

Jeff P
09-07-2009, 09:10 PM
I think current blended takeout is actually closer to 22 percent than 20.

But even so, I think you might have it pretty close. I can certainly try to get someone from the Dept at the U of Louisville to comment on the numbers published in the paper - either that or see if someone I know from a private consulting firm that has worked on similar studies in the past might be able to find 20 minutes this week... and perhaps jump into this thread to confirm or deny...

But even so, going with 20 percent as the blended takeout...

If 20 percent takeout draws a theoretical 10k of handle to a single pool at a theoretical track in a theoretical race...

Here's a chart of what the numbers would look like using your model:

Takeout Handle Takeout
Rate Dollars Dollars
--------------------------
.12 19200 2304
.13 18100 2353
.14 16900 2366***
.15 15800 2370***
.16 14600 2336
.17 13500 2295
.18 12300 2214
.19 11200 2128
.20 10000 2000

Which would make the optimal pricing point for takeout in this example right around 14-15 percent.



-jp

.

PrairieMeadows
09-07-2009, 09:30 PM
I came to the same area of 14 to 15% conclusion, is the relationship between handle and takeout linear, I expected exponential maybe?

I have attached my worksheet for anyone to play with.

Jeff P
09-07-2009, 09:30 PM
Btw, before anybody jumps in and makes the argument "Jeff, that looks good in theory. What makes you think reduced takeout might actually work in the real world?"

The following link is to a .PDF found on the Oklahoma State Gov site. The doc covers issues facing the OK State Lottery:

MAXIMIZING LOTTERY FUNDS FOR EDUCATION ISSUES FACING THE OKLAHOMA LOTTERY COMMISSION
http://www.lottery.ok.gov/media/documents/Maximizing%20Funds%20For%20Educ_2007-12-14.pdf

excerpt from p 1:
Mandated Profit Restricts “Real Dollars” for Education
• Inhibits prize payouts
• Inhibited prize payouts restricts sales and profits
• Oklahoma lowest prize payout of all U.S. lotteries
• Oklahoma 11% below national average
• Oklahoma number 39 of 41 lotteries in per capita profit
• Oklahoma $18 below national average per capita profit
• Projected $2.7 million increase in profit first full year of increased prizes
• Eight case studies support increased prizes
a. Massachusetts – 2094% instant game profit growth in 20 years
b. Texas – 24% profit loss due to legislatively required prize reduction
38% profit growth in 6 years after mandate removed
c. Georgia – 136% profit growth in 8 years
d. Missouri – 46% profit growth in 5 years
e. California – 35% profit growth in 6 years
f. Kentucky – 211% profit growth in 14 years
g. New York – 171% profit growth in 7 years
h. Florida – 54% profit growth in 3 years
I added bolding to the above to emphasize things I found interesting.

State lotteries are one very well documented very real world example of gambling interests that have had massive success generating increased profits and money flowing to state coffers simply by increasing prize payouts... translation = reduced takeout.

Even in Kentucky.


-jp

.

chickenhead
09-07-2009, 09:31 PM
Obviously to the degree that a track can drop its takeout without dropping its simulcast fee (and not lose distribution), the numbers look better and better for simulcast revenue -- theoretically the track holding its host fee constant captures a higher share of the increase straight to its bottom line, since it's own share stays constant.

So if Jeff's model was just for simulcast monies -- and a track was able to drop takeout while keeping it's simulcast fee fixed at say 3%, you'd see:

Takeout Handle Takeout
Rate Dollars Dollars
--------------------------
.12 19200 576
.13 18100 543
.14 16900 507
.15 15800 474
.16 14600 438
.17 13500 405
.18 12300 369
.19 11200 336
.20 10000 300

I think you really need two models, one for simulcast, one for on track -- and look at the combined effect to find the best overall point. For the above I don't know at what point the host would be forced to start reducing its fee. Depends on what their fee is currently I'm sure.

Horseplayersbet.com
09-07-2009, 09:43 PM
The problem is that this requires many tracks to reduce takeout. It won't work if one track does so because the public will likely bet the extra money they won at another venue with a higher takeout.

This is a big part of the problem in getting a track to reduce takeouts. There is almost upward pressure incentive for the lower takeout venues to raise takeouts
the way it is right now.

Until players actually really avoid high takeout venues, getting tracks to lower takeout is an uphill climb.

This is why rebates are the great equalizer at this time.

Oh oh, I am getting Indulto vibes saying that I have a vested interest here.

I'm just stating the obvious.

highnote
09-07-2009, 09:47 PM
The problem is that this requires many tracks to reduce takeout. It won't work if one track does so because the public will likely bet the extra money they won at another venue with a higher takeout.
.

Good point. Remember what happened when Keeneland lowered its rates. Some of the middle atlantic tracks refused to take their signal. I can't remember the exact scenario, but it was something to that effect.

Horseplayersbet.com
09-07-2009, 10:16 PM
I should add that what I said may be true of most tracks, it certainly is not true of Woodbine.
They have their signal fee deals, so lowering takeout, if they don't change their signal fees won't hurt them at all unless some ADWs and tracks decide not to take their signal.
On the domestic front, by lowering takeout they can test our theories, because they own their own ADW and have a near monopoly on Canadian bettors. So they will only see more churn, and their players will be lasting longer, and they can attract new customers as well.

Indulto
09-07-2009, 10:57 PM
... Until players actually really avoid high takeout venues, getting tracks to lower takeout is an uphill climb.

This is why rebates are the great equalizer at this time.

Oh oh, I am getting Indulto vibes saying that I have a vested interest here.

I'm just stating the obvious.Only the bolded sentence is accurate. I don't mind you taking a shot if it encourages you to continue making that disclaimer. What is obvious to me is that rebates are great equalizers ONLY for the select few who receive them under a scheme that is undermining the entire industry.

Even SJ's suggestion for a track-owned exchange would be an improvement if it followed the Betfair pricing model and a highly effectiven investigative arm were deployed.

Question: Is there any penalty/action imposed in Europe on trainers whose charges are continually laid against with unusual success? Is such information made available to bettors?

highnote
09-08-2009, 09:42 AM
I can certainly try to get someone from the Dept at the U of Louisville to comment on the numbers published in the paper
.

I believe Thalheimer, one of the authors of the paper, has retired from U of L. Not sure about Ali. It still might be possible to contact one or both of them for comments. Someone in their departments should be able to help locate them. Skip Sauer of Clemson is knowledgeable and so is Leighton Vaughn Williams of Nottingham Trent U.

Here's line from Vaughn Williams' bio:

"Leighton Vaughan Williams is the Professor of Economics and Finance and Director of the Betting Research Unit at Nottingham Business School."

Does any university in the U.S. have a Director of Betting Research?

If they did, their university would probably be scorned, ridiculed and burnt to the ground.

lamboguy
09-08-2009, 10:19 AM
i am not going to argue that lower takeout would certainly help the handle. when you look at the whole picture, horseracacing has been losing its share to higher takeout gambling like lotteries for year. there are lots of reasons why handles are regressing. the main reason is that there are less people interested in racing.
to improve the sport you have to get more people interested in it. right here and right now is the perfect time. it really would not be that tough to do. the first step would be to admit there is a problem. to date all i have seen in the racing game is a bunch of winer's about how difficult and expensive it would be to make progress in the sport.

PrairieMeadows
09-08-2009, 10:57 AM
[QUOTE=swetyejohn]IDoes any university in the U.S. have a Director of Betting Research?
QUOTE]

The University of Arizona has a Race Track Industry Program. Doug Reed would be as close to this as I can think of. He hasworked with economist Dr. Margaret Ray on a few items.

Check out: http://www.ua-rtip.org/industry/index.html

Horseplayersbet.com
09-08-2009, 11:23 AM
[QUOTE=swetyejohn]IDoes any university in the U.S. have a Director of Betting Research?
QUOTE]

The University of Arizona has a Race Track Industry Program. Doug Reed would be as close to this as I can think of. He hasworked with economist Dr. Margaret Ray on a few items.

Check out: http://www.ua-rtip.org/industry/index.html
Albany Law School has a program having to do with horse racing and the law:
http://www.albanylaw.edu/sub.php?navigation_id=681

46zilzal
09-08-2009, 12:32 PM
There are TWO programs at U. A's program: one is strictly management and the other more attuned to being a racing secretary.

We have TWO graduates here,each from ONE of these different programs: one is clued in (the racing secretary program) the other hasn't a clue (management).

Management continues to LIE to itself thinking that the damned casino revenue to PRIMARY now and do nothing to keep racing viable. They do NOTHING to promote racing and everything to get them through the front doors. They do nary a thing to educate the new fans

highnote
09-08-2009, 01:13 PM
[QUOTE=swetyejohn]IDoes any university in the U.S. have a Director of Betting Research?
QUOTE]

The University of Arizona has a Race Track Industry Program. Doug Reed would be as close to this as I can think of. He hasworked with economist Dr. Margaret Ray on a few items.

Check out: http://www.ua-rtip.org/industry/index.html


I've met Doug and corresponded with him over the years. He's done a very good job running the program.

But I don't think any university in the U.S. actually focuses on Betting. Do any programs teach people how to become handicappers? Where can would be handicappers learn how to make an accurate betting line? I assume most learn on the job.

If I'm not mistaken, the UK has programs where students can learn bookmaking.

highnote
09-08-2009, 01:33 PM
There are TWO programs at U. A's program: one is strictly management and the other more attuned to being a racing secretary.


An important element is missing from their program -- the "Horseplayer -- the Bettor".

Without Bettors would the UA program even exist? What drives the industry? Betting handle, right?

So why do U.S. universities not have "betting programs"?

There is nothing wrong with teaching the mathematics of gambling. It's the same math that is used for investing.

Hedge funds have to make huge bets. Warren Buffett needs to make huges bets and has to understand how to allocate his capital across a diverse universe of possible investment choices. Do you think he became successful by accident? Did Ed Thorp, author of "Beat The Dealer" become a successful hedge fund manager by accident. Did Bill Benter of the HK Racing Syndicate win $50 million betting horses in one year by accident?

These men learned mathematics and then used their math skills to make positive expectation bets.

You shouldn't have to have a Ph.D. or an advanced degree or go to an Ivy League school and then go out and have to learn these fundamental skills on your own. There is no reason they can't be taught in an undergraduate program.

The Horseplayer is worthy and should not be neglected.

Imriledup
09-08-2009, 09:52 PM
Only the bolded sentence is accurate. I don't mind you taking a shot if it encourages you to continue making that disclaimer. What is obvious to me is that rebates are great equalizers ONLY for the select few who receive them under a scheme that is undermining the entire industry.

Even SJ's suggestion for a track-owned exchange would be an improvement if it followed the Betfair pricing model and a highly effectiven investigative arm were deployed.

Question: Is there any penalty/action imposed in Europe on trainers whose charges are continually laid against with unusual success? Is such information made available to bettors?

"Select few"?

They are available to everyone, i didn't realize that color, religion or race had anything to do with the ability to procure one of these babies for your very own.

Horseplayersbet.com
09-08-2009, 10:36 PM
"Select few"?

They are available to everyone, i didn't realize that color, religion or race had anything to do with the ability to procure one of these babies for your very own.
It depends where you live. For example, Horseplayersbet can only take customers from just over the half the states. Plus there is no NYRA, Magna, or Twinspires on the menu.... yet, and even if available it is said that they limit the rewards players can receive on those particular tracks, unless one bets a heck of a lot (the select few). If someone is a huge bettor, other offshore ADWs and some domestic ones will offer rewards that regulars can't receive.

Of course, nothing holds anyone back from being good enough to become that big a bettor if they are good enough that is.

Imriledup
09-09-2009, 12:07 AM
It depends where you live. For example, Horseplayersbet can only take customers from just over the half the states. Plus there is no NYRA, Magna, or Twinspires on the menu.... yet, and even if available it is said that they limit the rewards players can receive on those particular tracks, unless one bets a heck of a lot (the select few). If someone is a huge bettor, other offshore ADWs and some domestic ones will offer rewards that regulars can't receive.

Of course, nothing holds anyone back from being good enough to become that big a bettor if they are good enough that is.

That's my point, whatever is holding a person back from becoming a big bettor isn't the same as what holds a person back who is 5 foot 8 who wants to play center in the NBA. No matter how hard you work, you aren't going to be 6 foot 10. But in racing, you can find a way to get great and pad your bankroll enough so that you CAN bet ten or twenty grand a day everyday.

As far as where you live goes, you can move. No one is holding anyone back from relocating.

Its all jealousy basically, people who don't get rebates want to cry and moan about how its all stacked against them, but it was also stacked against the biggest bettors in the world too at one point and those people overcame the odds to get where they are today. People aren't born big bettors, everyone starts out betting 2 to show.

highnote
09-09-2009, 12:15 AM
That's my point, whatever is holding a person back from becoming a big bettor isn't the same as what holds a person back who is 5 foot 8 who wants to play center in the NBA. No matter how hard you work, you aren't going to be 6 foot 10. But in racing, you can find a way to get great and pad your bankroll enough so that you CAN bet ten or twenty grand a day everyday.

As far as where you live goes, you can move. No one is holding anyone back from relocating.

Its all jealousy basically, people who don't get rebates want to cry and moan about how its all stacked against them, but it was also stacked against the biggest bettors in the world too at one point and those people overcame the odds to get where they are today. People aren't born big bettors, everyone starts out betting 2 to show.


Good points.

CincyHorseplayer
09-09-2009, 01:13 AM
An important element is missing from their program -- the "Horseplayer -- the Bettor".

Without Bettors would the UA program even exist? What drives the industry? Betting handle, right?

So why do U.S. universities not have "betting programs"?

There is nothing wrong with teaching the mathematics of gambling. It's the same math that is used for investing.

Hedge funds have to make huge bets. Warren Buffett needs to make huges bets and has to understand how to allocate his capital across a diverse universe of possible investment choices. Do you think he became successful by accident? Did Ed Thorp, author of "Beat The Dealer" become a successful hedge fund manager by accident. Did Bill Benter of the HK Racing Syndicate win $50 million betting horses in one year by accident?

These men learned mathematics and then used their math skills to make positive expectation bets.

You shouldn't have to have a Ph.D. or an advanced degree or go to an Ivy League school and then go out and have to learn these fundamental skills on your own. There is no reason they can't be taught in an undergraduate program.

The Horseplayer is worthy and should not be neglected.

The comment in red is totally accurate and the way this sport should be looked at IMO.Once any kind of proficiency is developed it is an investment strategy and not some random act.

Indulto
09-09-2009, 06:55 AM
That's my point, whatever is holding a person back from becoming a big bettor isn't the same as what holds a person back who is 5 foot 8 who wants to play center in the NBA. No matter how hard you work, you aren't going to be 6 foot 10. But in racing, you can find a way to get great and pad your bankroll enough so that you CAN bet ten or twenty grand a day everyday.

As far as where you live goes, you can move. No one is holding anyone back from relocating.

Its all jealousy basically, people who don't get rebates want to cry and moan about how its all stacked against them, but it was also stacked against the biggest bettors in the world too at one point and those people overcame the odds to get where they are today. People aren't born big bettors, everyone starts out betting 2 to show.IRU,
From the bolded statement above, I can only conclude that you’re a teenaged contrarian with little life experience; as opposed to someone with any experience betting with sufficient volume, return, and frequency to qualify for -- and sustain -- a rebate that resulted in becoming a profitable bettor; even for a short period.

You keep posting that anybody CAN do this, but never HOW anybody actually would go about elevating their play from 2 dollars a race to “ten or twenty grand a day.” It’s a nice fantasy you keep promoting, but only a very few individuals are capable of pulling it off.

I personally doubt that adding more whales will save the game; rather I expect a point would eventually be reached where so little unrebated money remained in the pools that even the whales would cease to be profitable.

But, hey, I appreciate these opportunites your fairy tale gives me to cry, moan, and generally counter the claims that selective rebating is good for the game. ;)

Imriledup
09-09-2009, 07:42 AM
IRU,
From the bolded statement above, I can only conclude that you’re a teenaged contrarian with little life experience; as opposed to someone with any experience betting with sufficient volume, return, and frequency to qualify for -- and sustain -- a rebate that resulted in becoming a profitable bettor; even for a short period.

You keep posting that anybody CAN do this, but never HOW anybody actually would go about elevating their play from 2 dollars a race to “ten or twenty grand a day.” It’s a nice fantasy you keep promoting, but only a very few individuals are capable of pulling it off.

I personally doubt that adding more whales will save the game; rather I expect a point would eventually be reached where so little unrebated money remained in the pools that even the whales would cease to be profitable.

But, hey, I appreciate these opportunites your fairy tale gives me to cry, moan, and generally counter the claims that selective rebating is good for the game. ;)


You are the one who wants the rebate, its up to you to figure out how to raise your play to much higher levels so that you can get the rebate you so desire.

If you asked someone who raised themselves up from 2 dollars to 20,000 if Indulto from Pace Advantage ought to get the same rebate that he does, what do you think he would say? What would an actor in hollywood say if someone who never spent any time learning the trade of acting wanted to star in a hit movie without having to go thru the grind that he had to endure?

Its just a matter of smarts, hard work, guts, determination, shunning a social life, etc in order to 'get ahead'.

You want to bet thousands per day and get the rebate that Joe Whale is getting? Work harder, get smarter and figure out a way how to get it done.

The world isn't going to change the rules so poor Indulto from Pace Advantage can get on an equal playing field with people who have busted their rear ends to get where they are today. You need to go out and TAKE what you want out of life instead of crying that things are unfair. Life is unfair in general, so its up to you to make it fair. The world isn't going to change the rules so you can get where you want to be someday.

If you want to get ahead, you need to get better. The rules are the same for everyone, its not the fault of the racing industry or the whales that you aren't good enough at this moment to bet 20 grand a day (or whatever it takes to be a whale).

Woe is me isnt' going to get it done i'm afraid.

rrbauer
09-09-2009, 11:10 PM
when you look at the whole picture, horseracacing has been losing its share to higher takeout gambling like lotteries for year.

The lotteries have state support, state-funded promotion, massive distribution and require nothing more than a buck to play. Multiple lotteries COOPERATING by pooling large jackpots increases the interest (sort of like ten tracks pooling their P6 carryovers) and heightens public participation. And, they draw numbers what, twice a week for the big enchilada? Of course they have many smaller daily games and instant (scratch off) games as well. Something for everybody. You don't have to handicap squat. You don't need an account. You don't have to pay admission to play. You don't have to know squat. And, lottery balls are very low maintenance: No vet bills, training bills, feed bills, farrier bills, jock fees or transportation costs.

You can make many intellectual cases against lotteries just as you can make them against slots' play. So what? They aren't going away because they're negative-sum games, when any moron with money can play. Just as horse racing jurisdictions are not going to reduce takeout because you can make an intellectual case that reducing takeout in the long run will increase handle. It's all about the short term. Lowering takeout involves taking money off the table with no guarantee that the money given up will ever be recaptured let alone produce more money. Too risky. Could get a fat cat, or two, fired for making a bad business decision. Takeout is a sleeping dog. Let it lie.

Indulto
09-10-2009, 06:13 AM
You are the one who wants the rebate, its up to you to figure out how to raise your play to much higher levels so that you can get the rebate you so desire. The only rebate I am interested in now is one that would be available to all players regardless of bankroll size in lieu of lower direct takeout for all.If you asked someone who raised themselves up from 2 dollars to 20,000 if Indulto from Pace Advantage ought to get the same rebate that he does, what do you think he would say? What would an actor in hollywood say if someone who never spent any time learning the trade of acting wanted to star in a hit movie without having to go thru the grind that he had to endure?

Its just a matter of smarts, hard work, guts, determination, shunning a social life, etc in order to 'get ahead'.Did you just complete EST training or some 12-step program? You want to bet thousands per day and get the rebate that Joe Whale is getting? Work harder, get smarter and figure out a way how to get it done.Betting tens of thousands of dollars a day is not reality for me. Nor is it for most recreational bettors who comprise the overwhelming majority of horseplayers.The world isn't going to change the rules so poor Indulto from Pace Advantage can get on an equal playing field with people who have busted their rear ends to get where they are today. You need to go out and TAKE what you want out of life instead of crying that things are unfair. Life is unfair in general, so its up to you to make it fair. The world isn't going to change the rules so you can get where you want to be someday.Indeed life isn’t fair, but games of chance should be. Racing used to be, and it was most successful when the rules of the game were the same for all bettors. Everybody can’t be a winner, but everyone playing the game should have an equal opportunity to win through an equal rate of return on their wagers. It’s as simple as that.If you want to get ahead, you need to get better. The rules are the same for everyone, its not the fault of the racing industry or the whales that you aren't good enough at this moment to bet 20 grand a day (or whatever it takes to be a whale).If you want to be a cheerleader for other players who show a profit when they are subsidized, and to glorify their exploiting a perversion of the pari-mutuel system, then keep drinking the Kool-Aid.Woe is me isnt' going to get it done i'm afraid.Neither is pretending to know what you’re talking about. ;)

While it’s definitely in my self-interest to fight for a level playing field, I also do it because I believe it’s the right thing to do, and that it’s the best way to keep the game alive. Apparently, it also means having to deal with a nuisance like you with little credibility, but an inexplicable willingness to serve as a tool for those who currently benefit from selective rebating, as well as those trying to preserve the status quo by extending it to another “select few.”