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DeanT
10-13-2009, 05:53 PM
Tuesday, October 13, 2009

If Customers are Not Brought Back...... (http://blog.horseplayersassociation.org/2009/10/if-customers-are-not-brought-back.html)

..... Racing will die.

So goes the sobering panel at today's Simulcast Conference in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Quotes:

“Participants in the horse industry don’t get it but they’ll learn soon,” said Gural. “The horse industry doesn’t want to do anything to help themselves. The horse industry is very happy to be a welfare recipient. They believe somehow that they are entitled.”

Eugene Christiansen, the Chairman, Christiansen Capital Advisors,, echoed these comments.

"The chances of change are slim to none,” said Christiansen. “Racing as an industry is more resistant to change than anything we’ve ever dealt with. If the fan base can’t be brought back, the sport will die.”

“The fundamental problem is consumer pricing,” he said. “The amount of money taken from bettors is not sustainable."

Eric Johnston, Vice President of Racing, Sam Houston Race Park in Houston, Texas, gave an example of why the business model which gives horsepeople a large percentage of wagering revenues, is counter-productive.

“For years we ran promotions to get people out to the track,” he said. When we analyzed the numbers, we realized we’d have been better off to hand every person a $10 bill at the door and tell them to go home.”

“If the industry fails to reach new customers, 20 years from now, all the lights will go off. This takes wholesale change, competitive pricing, new products and pain for a lot of people, including purse levels that may decrease by 50%.”

Full story at link (http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/news/10-13-09/panel-change-horse-racing-doomed.html).

boomman
10-13-2009, 08:28 PM
Let me see if I get this straight Eric: You say that you ran promotions that increased handle by 50% and on track attendance by 50% @ Sam Houston, yet you were better off running customers off and handing them a $10 bill to leave???????

Huh??????????:confused: :confused: :confused:

Boomer

offtrack
10-13-2009, 09:46 PM
The other half of the thought is to give the customers $10, let them go home, and have them bet from wherever they want.
Mobile internet access can help racing grow. Racing needs a killer app that people want to use.
Customer cant get to the racetrack? Cant play on-line Poker? Just take a few minutes and bet/watch a race!!!

rokitman
10-13-2009, 10:11 PM
Stop the parasitic behavior, stop the bullshit stories, start the exchange, make past performance information available for free, and get the fock out of our way.

DeanT
10-13-2009, 10:49 PM
Racing needs a killer app that people want to use.


I agree. Some sort of app with mobile betting is something that could make a real difference. Some thoughts on mobile wagering, and the future here. http://www.r2collective.com/content/2009/09/14/planning-for-the-mobile-generation/

Jeff P
10-14-2009, 02:18 AM
If customers are not brought back...

Racing absolutely needs to find a way to attract new customers and keep them.

Ever stop and make a careful analysis of just why it is so hard to do that?

High takeout is even more problematic for the track newbie than it is for the player with a fair amount of experience under his or her belt.

Below is a data sample for races in my database for the first half of calendar year 2009. Other time periods show similar results.

First, all starters in the sample:
Data Window Settings:
999 Divisor Odds Cap: None
Surface: (ALL*) Distance: (All*)
From Index File: C:\2009\Q1_2009\pl_2009_0716_June30.txt


Data Summary Win Place Show
Mutuel Totals 168396.40 167657.70 167899.10
Bet -224064.00-224064.00-224064.00
Gain -55667.60 -56406.30 -56164.90

Wins 13772 27440 40336
Plays 112032 112032 112032
PCT .1229 .2449 .3600

ROI 0.7516 0.7483 0.7493
Avg Mut 12.23 6.11 4.16

Next, the same data broken out by rank for Bris Prime Power:

By: Prime Power Rank

Rank Gain Bet Roi Wins Plays Pct Impact
1 -4139.30 27996.00 0.8521 4371 13998 .3123 2.5402
2 -3739.40 27800.00 0.8655 2896 13900 .2083 1.6948
3 -6077.20 27964.00 0.7827 2028 13982 .1450 1.1799
4 -6071.30 27786.00 0.7815 1493 13893 .1075 0.8742
5 -6478.30 27646.00 0.7657 1100 13823 .0796 0.6473
6 -6334.10 25584.00 0.7524 812 12792 .0635 0.5164
7 -7653.60 21186.00 0.6387 467 10593 .0441 0.3586
8 -5391.10 15844.00 0.6597 297 7922 .0375 0.3050
9 -4431.90 10750.00 0.5877 156 5375 .0290 0.2361
10 -3129.90 6788.00 0.5389 95 3394 .0280 0.2277
11 -1195.80 3166.00 0.6223 40 1583 .0253 0.2056
12 -962.50 1376.00 0.3005 14 688 .0203 0.1655
13 -114.40 126.00 0.0921 2 63 .0317 0.2582
14 -42.00 42.00 0.0000 0 21 .0000 0.0000
15 -2.00 2.00 0.0000 0 1 .0000 0.0000
16 101.20 2.00 51.6000 1 1 1.0000 8.1348
17 -2.00 2.00 0.0000 0 1 .0000 0.0000
18 -4.00 4.00 0.0000 0 2 .0000 0.0000
19+ 0.00 0.00 0.0000 0 0 .0000 0.0000


I'll make the argument that if you were a complete newbie and didn't know a thing about horses or betting on horses - but wanted to try your hand at handicapping and just showed up at a track one day and started betting horses by way of making your best educated guess on who you thought would win each race... The horses you'd end up selecting and betting on your first few times... maybe even your first full season... or until you started keeping records as a way to figure stuff out... those horses (because you really have no idea what you're doing) might mimic or make you no better off than if you had made your picks using a random number generator.

Consider, the avg takeout in the win pool in the above sample is somewhere in the vicinity of 17%... which means that if our track newbie just randomly started betting horses to win he or she would get back about 83 cents on the dollar - right?

Umm... no. :confused:

The above numbers show an roi distribution that is slanted towards the top of the sample. Prime Power isn't a magic bullet. IMHO the best selections of most really good horseplayers should outperform something like Prime Power - right?

That covers most of you all. Grab a cold one and give yourself a pat on the back. ;)

But what about the track newbie who finds himself or herself pretty much making blind stabs?

The above numbers show the track newbie making a blind stab in the win pool - if he or she made enough $2.00 bets - would have an expected return of just 75.16 cents for every $1.00 wagered.

Now if our track newbie somehow tolerates losing at an effective takeout rate of 24.84% long enough to get some experience... and eventually learned about things like form, speed, class, and the tendencies of human connections... he or she might start picking horses that made more sense...

And if our track newbie stuck around long enough to become a really good handicapper... after a few years his or her selections might have a win rate and flat win bet roi on par with Prime Power Rank=1 or Rank=2 horses.

That's the reality faced by about 98 percent of everybody who goes to the track their first few times...

It was my reality too - at least until I started doing R&D and keeping meticulous records.



My point is the win/loss experience is worse for the newbie racing customer than it is for someone with experience because they have no idea what they are doing.

Hint: I have numbers that say it's even worse for the newbie exotics player because of the even higher exotics takeout. :bang:


Consider this...

The newbie slot machine handle puller can expect to get back 92 cents for every $1.00 bet...

He or she doesn't need to think, work, or keep records... or worry about odds that change after the wheels stop spinning... or be left wondering whether or not the bearings housing for that middle wheel was or wasn't injected with grease before the handle was pulled.

All he or she needs to do is show up and feed tokens into a machine.

How in the world does racing compete with that UNLESS changes are made?


-jp

.

Indulto
10-14-2009, 04:55 AM
http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/52964/panel-racing-not-capitalizing-on-advantages?source=rss (http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/52964/panel-racing-not-capitalizing-on-advantages?source=rss)
Panel: Racing Not Capitalizing on Advantages
By Tom LaMarra October 13, 2009… “We’re in the gambling business, and we have to stop apologizing for it,” said John Pricci, executive editor of HorseRaceInsider.com and an adviser to the Handicappers Association of North America. “We’re not aggressive. The lotteries are aggressive, and they’re rip-off outfits.”

Pricci said there are “one hundred life-changing scores” possible each day at the racetrack. He said he recently wagered $32 and missed winning $109,000 in the final race of a pick sequence.

“Is a day at the races out of step with the video game generation?” Pricci said. “Perhaps, but you have the ultimate video game here.”

… “The ultimate video game is not being marketed to people who are used to manipulating data,” Dorr said.

… “There is a tremendous amount of data, but where is the real information (for individuals learning the game)?” Amo said. “New fans need education; it’s critical. You have a lot of talking heads, but are they really educating?”

Pricci said racing damages itself by allowing the wrong message to be sent. For instance, the media will have an excuse not to cover racing when it’s announced only 7,000 people were on hand for the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) program at Belmont Park, he said, but in reality there probably were tens of thousands of people wagering on and watching those races in the New York City metro area either off track or in their homes.

“I think the mainstream media would say we can’t afford to overlook (that many) people,” Pricci said.

Of all the recent innovations in simulcasting, the panelists said the Trakus system in use at Keeneland and Woodbine is extremely valuable to patrons.http://www.horseraceinsider.com/blog.php/John-Pricci/comments/10142009-industry-must-talk-to-each-other-then-the-rest-of-america/#comments (http://www.horseraceinsider.com/blog.php/John-Pricci/comments/10142009-industry-must-talk-to-each-other-then-the-rest-of-america/#comments)
Industry Must Talk to Each Other, Then the Rest of America
By John Pricci October 14, 2009…Actually, racing can’t compete with poker. The cost of the racing product and the learning curve is too high. Racing can do something about both but, admittedly, that will take some time and time is running out.

But there is something we can do right now, however: We’re in the gambling business and we have to stop apologizing for that. …

… Why is it that, on balance, we give people a good shake for their money; offer great odds, opportunities for potential scores, but we never brag about that. What are we afraid of here, a vast right-wing religious conspiracy?

… Horseplayers have an opportunity to make a life-changing score maybe 20 times a day. Our odds are much better, but nobody knows that, because every time we talk about gambling entertainment we do it with our hat in our hands.

Is a day at the races--the most fun that intelligent, successful and social people can have--out of step in the video game age, a mountain too steep to climb?

Perhaps, but simulcasting is the ultimate video game that offers a different kind of instant entertainment and gratification, and a chance to make a lot of money….

The drawback, of course, is that your customers have to be willing to think. If they are, this thing of ours still works, and it works big-time. In fact, the thinking part, like chess or bridge, is the fun part.

… Mainstream media corporations look at our attendance figures and think we’re history. We can show them that they’re wrong.

What if every OTB or simulcast venue put in, say, a turnstile, for the sole purpose of counting the number of people that participate in the racing experience by making a bet, or two, or 20, every day?

Would the media ignore--I don’t know--100,000 people a day in New York City, or Los Angeles, or Miami? Wouldn’t they try to find a way to exploit that market instead? …

JustRalph
10-14-2009, 05:34 AM
Why has nobody mentioned the fact that you have to sit through 50 races a day to get 5-6 that are worth betting?

TOO MANY TRACKS! NOT ENOUGH GOOD HORSES!


7-8 DOLLAR WINNERS RACE AFTER RACE WILL NEVER KEEP A NEWBIE ENGAGED LONG ENOUGH TO LEARN ANYTHING! SMALL FIELDS AND RACES WHERE ONLY TWO HORSES FIGURE.........WON'T KEEP ANYBODY AROUND!

THE FLIP SIDE IS A PLACE LIKE KEENELAND OR ARLINGTON WHERE HORSES CAN POP UP AND WIN FOR NO APPARENT REASON! THESE RUN OFF PLAYERS LIKE ME............THERE HAS TO BE A HAPPY MEDIUM............LESS TRACKS LARGER FIELDS............THE ONLY ANSWER TO THE MECHANICS OF THE GAME!

Imriledup
10-14-2009, 05:59 AM
You know what i notice when i go to popular racetracks on 'big days'? I notice one thing that every single person seems to be interested in far and above handicapping, watching horses warm up, figuring out how to cash in on the next winner, etc. and do you know what that is?


its eating.

every single person is stuffing their faces, drinking their eyeballs out. If you go to a track like Santa Anita on a typical Saturday with a good card of racing and a stakes race or two, you can't get near the food lines. Everyone has a burger or a coke/beer.

What this means going forward i have no idea, its just an observation.

andymays
10-14-2009, 06:08 AM
If I remember right there used to be a horse by the name of GriefandAggravation.


Enough said! ;)

RichieP
10-14-2009, 07:31 AM
TOO MANY TRACKS! NOT ENOUGH GOOD HORSES!




:ThmbUp:

JimG
10-14-2009, 08:07 AM
It is tough because the people running the industry are very resistant to change and stuck in the 60's and 70's, which were racing's heyday.

The promotion of the sport as a place to spend the day, bring your family, and watch the horses run is a dead end. Families have weekends together. They go to children ball games and related events and possibly a professional baseball or football game, or Nascar if they are affluent. Horse racing wants 50,000 in the stands on a regular basis but it is never going to happen. There are too many other sporting event options for non-gambling families.

Horse racing should promote itself as a gambling entity that is a game of skill, not luck. It should market itself as an alternative to poker and sports betting. It should be embracing technology and doing whatever it can to foster bringing in additional gamblers. They should heavily showcase existing gamblers that have success and use that to promote the sport. Instead of listening to the droning of trainers that do not want to talk to the media following a big win ("gotta check on the horse"), talk to a winning gambler about why he liked the horse and what kind of money he made on the race.

In short, instead of operating the sport around independent contractors like the owners, trainers, and jockeys...revolve it around the customer, the gambler. Coordinate post times, get scatches out well in advance, upgrade technology to eliminate the shifting of odds after a race starts. Talk to existing gamblers and listen and implement needed changes.

We are so worried about how to bring new people to the sport. GAMBLING is the attraction. Embrace the concept...make it as easy as possible to gamble...showcase winning players. Make the gamblers the stars of the sport and people will start to line up and play. Kinda sounds like poker doesn't it. Last I heard, poker was thriving.

Jim

Horseplayersbet.com
10-14-2009, 08:42 AM
Horse racing knows that they can't focus on winning gamblers like poker or the lotteries do because it would be false advertising. Almost every winner we have today is receiving rebates and they don't want to go there because it is an admission that the price of the game is too high.

As for life changing scores, if a person hits a $150,000 pick six because they invested $300, it just isn't the same as winning $2 million from a $10 investment in the eyes of the public. Plus the fact that if a serious bettor hits the $150,000, there is no guarantee that person is a winner in the long run.

Bobzilla
10-14-2009, 09:20 AM
It is tough because the people running the industry are very resistant to change and stuck in the 60's and 70's, which were racing's heyday.

The promotion of the sport as a place to spend the day, bring your family, and watch the horses run is a dead end. Families have weekends together. They go to children ball games and related events and possibly a professional baseball or football game, or Nascar if they are affluent. Horse racing wants 50,000 in the stands on a regular basis but it is never going to happen. There are too many other sporting event options for non-gambling families.

Horse racing should promote itself as a gambling entity that is a game of skill, not luck. It should market itself as an alternative to poker and sports betting. It should be embracing technology and doing whatever it can to foster bringing in additional gamblers. They should heavily showcase existing gamblers that have success and use that to promote the sport. Instead of listening to the droning of trainers that do not want to talk to the media following a big win ("gotta check on the horse"), talk to a winning gambler about why he liked the horse and what kind of money he made on the race.

In short, instead of operating the sport around independent contractors like the owners, trainers, and jockeys...revolve it around the customer, the gambler. Coordinate post times, get scatches out well in advance, upgrade technology to eliminate the shifting of odds after a race starts. Talk to existing gamblers and listen and implement needed changes.

We are so worried about how to bring new people to the sport. GAMBLING is the attraction. Embrace the concept...make it as easy as possible to gamble...showcase winning players. Make the gamblers the stars of the sport and people will start to line up and play. Kinda sounds like poker doesn't it. Last I heard, poker was thriving.

Jim


Super post Jim! I couldn't agree more with everything you wrote. I wish you had been a guest speaker at the Simulcast Conference.

I have to believe there is still a sizeable segment of the gambling population that would enjoy a game that rewards those who approach their game of choice as an intellectual pursuit, and not just one of random luck. It's amazing all the different opinions sharp players can arrive at when working with the same set of data. Many gamblers by their very nature are opinionated, especially in today's culture, and I've always felt horseracing could market itself better by tapping into this, something along the lines of "hey, ya gotta an opinion?, think you're smarter than the next guy?, prove it!, If you're right, get the other guy's money. You earned it!" Dave Litfin wrote something along these lines some years ago. Combine that with lowering the costs of doing business and I have to think it could be a step in the right direction. I think there are still many people out there who could become interested in handicapping and horseplaying if they were only more aware of it and how it can be an alternative to games of chance, and also if there was awareness that there are some winning players.

Jim, can you think of any way handicapping tournaments could be used to attract attention to the game? When I'm in a tournament my face is buried in the pps, my right hand is constantly marking up the pps and my left hand is working a calculator. Doesn't make for interesting entertainment the way poker tournaments can be. I think televised poker tournaments have done much to get younger people interested in poker but I don't see the same potential for handicapping tournaments. I don't know if there is much potential there.

cj
10-14-2009, 10:24 AM
Why has nobody mentioned the fact that you have to sit through 50 races a day to get 5-6 that are worth betting?

TOO MANY TRACKS! NOT ENOUGH GOOD HORSES!


7-8 DOLLAR WINNERS RACE AFTER RACE WILL NEVER KEEP A NEWBIE ENGAGED LONG ENOUGH TO LEARN ANYTHING! SMALL FIELDS AND RACES WHERE ONLY TWO HORSES FIGURE.........WON'T KEEP ANYBODY AROUND!

THE FLIP SIDE IS A PLACE LIKE KEENELAND OR ARLINGTON WHERE HORSES CAN POP UP AND WIN FOR NO APPARENT REASON! THESE RUN OFF PLAYERS LIKE ME............THERE HAS TO BE A HAPPY MEDIUM............LESS TRACKS LARGER FIELDS............THE ONLY ANSWER TO THE MECHANICS OF THE GAME!

This is exactly what I posted in another thread. Takeouts could survive cuts if the game was more attractive to the gambler, with much bigger pools. You get that with less races and better fields.

Horseplayersbet.com
10-14-2009, 10:53 AM
This is exactly what I posted in another thread. Takeouts could survive cuts if the game was more attractive to the gambler, with much bigger pools. You get that with less races and better fields.
I have to disagree on the big fields notion. There are much fewer who wind up cashing tickets. Sure, it is good for value players, but that is at the expense of the non value players who go broke even faster due to large fields.

Larger fields without a substantial rebate or takeout reduction is just another shift from the weak players to the stronger players.

The weak players need to last longer in order to spend more time playing and that will cause them to expose more people in their immediate universe involved in horse racing and hopefully betting.

rokitman
10-14-2009, 10:56 AM
It is tough because the people running the industry are very resistant to change and stuck in the 60's and 70's, which were racing's heyday.

The promotion of the sport as a place to spend the day, bring your family, and watch the horses run is a dead end. Families have weekends together. They go to children ball games and related events and possibly a professional baseball or football game, or Nascar if they are affluent. Horse racing wants 50,000 in the stands on a regular basis but it is never going to happen. There are too many other sporting event options for non-gambling families.

Horse racing should promote itself as a gambling entity that is a game of skill, not luck. It should market itself as an alternative to poker and sports betting. It should be embracing technology and doing whatever it can to foster bringing in additional gamblers. They should heavily showcase existing gamblers that have success and use that to promote the sport. Instead of listening to the droning of trainers that do not want to talk to the media following a big win ("gotta check on the horse"), talk to a winning gambler about why he liked the horse and what kind of money he made on the race.

In short, instead of operating the sport around independent contractors like the owners, trainers, and jockeys...revolve it around the customer, the gambler. Coordinate post times, get scatches out well in advance, upgrade technology to eliminate the shifting of odds after a race starts. Talk to existing gamblers and listen and implement needed changes.

We are so worried about how to bring new people to the sport. GAMBLING is the attraction. Embrace the concept...make it as easy as possible to gamble...showcase winning players. Make the gamblers the stars of the sport and people will start to line up and play. Kinda sounds like poker doesn't it. Last I heard, poker was thriving.

Jim
Smart

You know what i notice when i go to popular racetracks on 'big days'? I notice one thing that every single person seems to be interested in far and above handicapping, watching horses warm up, figuring out how to cash in on the next winner, etc. and do you know what that is?


its eating.

every single person is stuffing their faces, drinking their eyeballs out. If you go to a track like Santa Anita on a typical Saturday with a good card of racing and a stakes race or two, you can't get near the food lines. Everyone has a burger or a coke/beer.

What this means going forward i have no idea, its just an observation.
L :) :) P Y


If I remember right there used to be a horse by the name of GriefandAggravation.


Enough said! ;)
Yes

cj
10-14-2009, 11:09 AM
I have to disagree on the big fields notion. There are much fewer who wind up cashing tickets. Sure, it is good for value players, but that is at the expense of the non value players who go broke even faster due to large fields.

Larger fields without a substantial rebate or takeout reduction is just another shift from the weak players to the stronger players.

The weak players need to last longer in order to spend more time playing and that will cause them to expose more people in their immediate universe involved in horse racing and hopefully betting.

I think you missed my point...probably my fault. I'm saying takeout can't be cut now because the handle will never increase enough with the current crap product being offered. Just because maybe we get an extra 7% back doesn't mean there is going to be value in a 6 horse maiden claimer. People aren't going to bet much more on those races.

LottaKash
10-14-2009, 01:58 PM
TOO MANY TRACKS! NOT ENOUGH GOOD HORSES!

...................

Robert Goren
10-14-2009, 02:42 PM
I think that there should never be race without at least 8 entries. Bottom and near bottom claimers should have at least 10. This would cut down on race with a 3/5 stick out. Give the win better a fighting chance.

jballscalls
10-14-2009, 03:28 PM
I think that there should never be race without at least 8 entries. Bottom and near bottom claimers should have at least 10. This would cut down on race with a 3/5 stick out. Give the win better a fighting chance.

except Lone Star, seems everytime i see a race there its 11 or 12 horses and a 4/5 shot in each race :)

Indulto
10-14-2009, 03:52 PM
I think you missed my point...probably my fault. I'm saying takeout can't be cut now because the handle will never increase enough with the current crap product being offered. Just because maybe we get an extra 7% back doesn't mean there is going to be value in a 6 horse maiden claimer. People aren't going to bet much more on those races.Good point. But if small players received whale-sized rebates, wouldn't they concentrate more on exotics and cover more combinations regardless of field quality?

cj
10-14-2009, 04:35 PM
Good point. But if small players received whale-sized rebates, wouldn't they concentrate more on exotics and cover more combinations regardless of field quality?

Rebates are based on the takeout, so I don't see where that would matter.

We could go around for days with all the speculation and "what ifs", but in the end, the product must improve or racing is doomed, even with a takeout cut.

Indulto
10-14-2009, 05:06 PM
Rebates are based on the takeout, so I don't see where that would matter.

We could go around for days with all the speculation and "what ifs", but in the end, the product must improve or racing is doomed, even with a takeout cut.I was assuming equally lower effective takeout for all ;), but yes, changes are required in many areas.

BetCrazyGirl
10-14-2009, 06:15 PM
I am still pretty new to certain aspects of horse racing, I've read on here alot about 'rebates" and was wondering what excatly are the rebates?

rwwupl
10-14-2009, 06:27 PM
I was assuming equally lower effective takeout for all ;), but yes, changes are required in many areas.


We need an overhaul,like an old car. Top to bottom,reorganize. The current managers are incapable or unwilling to change. Design the game where all interests have an opportunity to win,including the customer.

JustRalph
10-14-2009, 09:46 PM
I am still pretty new to certain aspects of horse racing, I've read on here alot about 'rebates" and was wondering what excatly are the rebates?

here is an article about it

http://espn.go.com/horse/columns/misc/1980579.html

Indulto
10-14-2009, 10:22 PM
We need an overhaul,like an old car. Top to bottom,reorganize. The current managers are incapable or unwilling to change. Design the game where all interests have an opportunity to win,including the customer.Be careful what you wish for, rw.

The people who would do the reorganizing are not cut from the same cloth as America's founding fathers. I don't know what the economic equivalent of "might makes right" is (maybe "greed does the deed?" ;)), but if the same thinkers are involved that initiated and continue to support the practice of selective rebating based on wager volume -- thereby giving a tiny group of customers an enormous advantage over the vast majority of other customers -- then what other unintended consequences might occur?

Also, the sporting aspect of the game embraces tradition. Remember how opposed people everywhere were to allowing Stronach to get anywhere near Saratoga during the franchise renewal?

We may yet wind up with a "Brave New World" of racing once the current system collapses. Perhaps New York State should sell Saratoga Racetrack to the Sheikh while it's still worth someting; and doing so might even keep the state government as well as racing there afloat without slots.

Zman179
10-14-2009, 10:28 PM
This is what Jeff Gural said in Saratoga that made 1000% sense, and if the horsemen/breeders don't get the picture pretty soon, they're gonna be up poop's creek without a paddle:

“It’s so logical that the sport is going to die...Once a racino opens, that casino company looks at racing as a loser. You’ll see the lobbyists of those track owners in the legislature trying to convince government to take the money back, allowing the racinos to get rid of racing.”

Indulto
10-15-2009, 09:14 AM
http://www.saratogian.com/articles/2009/10/14/news/doc4ad52e4ae08bb133982388.txt (http://www.saratogian.com/articles/2009/10/14/news/doc4ad52e4ae08bb133982388.txt)
For racing, ‘hi-def’ means high stakes
By PAUL POST October 14, 2009… About one-third of all U.S. households already have at least one "hi-def" TV, a trend that’s expected to reach 100 percent by 2012.

... "Essentially, we are a TV sport now," said Chris Scherf, of Maryland-based Thoroughbred Racing Associations, the conference co-sponsor with Harness Tracks of America.

However, only two thoroughbred tracks, Churchill Downs and Keeneland, have made the switch to HD TV, with Fairgrounds expected to this fall.

… Churchill, the first track to export a hi-def simulcast signal, made the switch last spring before the Kentucky Derby. Converting their production truck cost $1 million alone, and changes must be made on several fronts, Loignon said.

First, the signal tracks offer must be HD. But that alone isn’t enough. Simulcast centers and off-track betting shops, where fans watch races, must replace old screens with new, advanced models.

… New York Racing Association, which operates Saratoga Race Course, is the nation’s single largest exporter of simulcast content. Two years ago, it purchased its own television system.

"We do all our own TV productions in-house and export the racing signal," President and CEO Charles Hayward said. "We have all the equipment in place to do it (HD TV)."

The problem, he said, is that most simulcast outlets such as OTB parlors don’t have hi-def screens yet, so it makes no sense to invest money in a system that people couldn’t watch anyway. There’s also a technical roadblock. HD bandwidth is three times larger than standard signals, so it has to be compressed before sending it to satellites. This decreases picture quality. …http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/52949/perception-not-integrity-called-major-issue (http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/52949/perception-not-integrity-called-major-issue)
Perception, Not Integrity, Called Major Issue
By Tom LaMarra Tuesday, October 13, 2009 … perception, not integrity, is the primary problem for the industry’s wagering systems.

“We don’t have an integrity issue,” Thoroughbred Racing Associations executive vice president Chris Scherf said. “We have some operational issues to work out.”

… Scherf and others said there are “little things” that can be done, not the least of which is communicating with the public.

For instance, Scherf said the perception of past-posting—making wagers after “off” time of races—is overblown. He said there have been eight confirmed cases of past-posting out of 60,000 races, which means past-posting isn’t the cause of everyday late changes in odds.

“There are a lot of misconceptions out there,” Scherf said. “The two aren’t related.”

J. Curtis Linnell, director of wagering analysis for the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau, offered results of studies on late odds shifts at 18 racetracks. Overall, the average change in odds per runner was 0.69%. In the final odds cycle, he said, the average change in odds was 0.96%.

The smallest changes in odds cycle to cycle occurred at Saratoga, which has some of the largest pools in the United States.

“The cycle time (for displaying odds) is critical to odds changes,” Linnell said. “The larger the pool is, the more stable the odds. Some of our problems are of our own making in how we display the odds.”

There is growing sentiment in the industry to stop displaying “fractional” odds, such as 5-2 and 9-2, and show decimal odds. That way, changes in odds would be more transparent and at times not as large as those indicated by changes in fractional odds.

“This has got to stop,” Linnell said. “Going to decimal odds will eliminate approximate odds.”

... Scherf said there are two “non-solutions”—stopping wagering at zero minutes to post, and a process called transactional monitoring. The latter has been regularly discussed by regulators; Indiana racetracks adopted the program voluntarily, while New York passed a law mandating it.

… As for the close of wagering at zero minutes to post, Scherf said it doesn’t work. He said regular incidents at the starting gate that hold up the start of races would create even more outcry from players as they lost wagering opportunities because pools were closed.

“The lost wagering dollars (are a problem),” Scherf said. “There aren’t a whole lot of wagering dollars floating around this industry right now.” …http://www.ntra.com/blog.aspx?blogId=15&year=2009&month=10&day=14 (http://www.ntra.com/blog.aspx?blogId=15&year=2009&month=10&day=14)
Thoroughbred Industry's Bright Future
By Alex Waldrop 10/14/2009… The next generation of leaders in our industry is already meeting monthly with the goal of devising a long term plan for racing and breeding through the year 2020. As you might imagine, they are wisely looking beyond the current economic crisis to find ways to make sure Thoroughbred horse racing and breeding thrive and prosper well into the future. In that context, they asked former NTRA/Breeders' Cup CEO, D.G. Van Clief and me to each address the following question: Do you think the Thoroughbred industry would be better off with a Central Office and a commissioner? Here is a synopsis of what I said.

As I see it, the league/commissioner idea is a great concept, grounded in the notion that racing is first and foremost a sport and should be governed as a sport. Unfortunately, I am not optimistic about its chances for full implementation.

For a true league to work and for a commissioner to have real power, there must be a willingness and an ability of all participants (tracks, owners, trainers and jockeys) to (a) pool significant media and other intellectual property rights (TV, trademarks, merchandizing, etc.) and submit private commercial interests (race dates, race times, simulcast sales and pricing decisions, ADW revenues, etc.) to a collective league structure (a la the NFL) and then (b) submit all decisions related to these commercial matters to the will of the whole and allow such decisions to be carried out by the league's commissioner. Due to the regulatory restraints inherent in our sport that I will discuss below and the varied economic interests of racing's participants (not to mention some potentially insurmountable anti-trust limitations), I don't think it is realistic to expect horseracing to be governed in this manner at this time.

… the preeminence of pari-mutuel wagering to racing's economic structure – and racing's lack of substantial television rights fees which by and large are the glue that hold major sports leagues together - mean the league/commissioner model is unlikely to be in racing's immediate or perhaps even long term future.

… As I told them, given our industry's reliance upon pari-mutuel wagering as our principle source of revenue, the horse industry will never escape state regulation. States simply are not going to allow wagering to occur within their borders without significant regulation to assure consumer protection. Since the federal government has so far declined to intervene and a private regulatory authority such as the British Horseracing Authority runs afoul of U.S. laws against delegating regulatory powers, we are left with no alternative but to deal creatively with our circumstances. …

Finally, I stressed to the audience that the NTRA's consumer feedback tells us that horseplayers may not care about the formation of a league office with a commissioner. What they appear to want is greater integrity and uniformity (and they want lower takeout and fuller fields but that is for another blog). For them, how we get there is not their principal concern - we just need to get there. …

rrbauer
10-15-2009, 10:33 AM
You know what i notice when i go to popular racetracks on 'big days'? I notice one thing that every single person seems to be interested in far and above handicapping, watching horses warm up, figuring out how to cash in on the next winner, etc. and do you know what that is?


its eating.

every single person is stuffing their faces, drinking their eyeballs out. If you go to a track like Santa Anita on a typical Saturday with a good card of racing and a stakes race or two, you can't get near the food lines. Everyone has a burger or a coke/beer.

What this means going forward i have no idea, its just an observation.

Been to a baseball or football game lately?

Robert Goren
10-15-2009, 10:36 AM
except Lone Star, seems everytime i see a race there its 11 or 12 horses and a 4/5 shot in each race :)Texas tracks are something special.;) In 2000-2001 I looking at them when I got kicked up into management and no longer had the time to follow them. Now that I am retired I may have to revisit them. Thanks for reminding me.

rwwupl
10-15-2009, 10:43 AM
Be careful what you wish for, rw.

The people who would do the reorganizing are not cut from the same cloth as America's founding fathers. I don't know what the economic equivalent of "might makes right" is (maybe "greed does the deed?" ;)), but if the same thinkers are involved that initiated and continue to support the practice of selective rebating based on wager volume -- thereby giving a tiny group of customers an enormous advantage over the vast majority of other customers -- then what other unintended consequences might occur?

Also, the sporting aspect of the game embraces tradition. Remember how opposed people everywhere were to allowing Stronach to get anywhere near Saratoga during the franchise renewal?

We may yet wind up with a "Brave New World" of racing once the current system collapses. Perhaps New York State should sell Saratoga Racetrack to the Sheikh while it's still worth someting; and doing so might even keep the state government as well as racing there afloat without slots.
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Indulto ref: http://www.ntra.com/blog.aspx?blogId=15&year=2009&month=10&day=14

What they appear to want is greater integrity and uniformity (and they want lower takeout and fuller fields but that is for another blog). For them, how we get there is not their principal concern - we just need to get there.


As I see it, the league/commissioner idea is a great concept, grounded in the notion that racing is first and foremost a sport and should be governed as a sport. Unfortunately, I am not optimistic about its chances for full implementation
I think we need to start with leaders who know what is required,but leaders who know how to get there and are sincere. Yes ,we should be governed as a sport,yes, we need a central office,yes ,we need lower take out, yes ,we need fuller fields.


WE DO NOT NEED LEADERS WHO GIVE US LIP SERVICE AND TELL US IT CAN NOT BE DONE AND ARE NEGATIVE ON THE PROSPECTS OF THE ONLY CUSTOMER PARTICIPATING SPORT IN THE WORLD.


With out a worthy goal,people rarely achieve it.

We need an overhaul, and start at the top.

rwwupl
10-15-2009, 11:00 AM
P.S.
ALL I want to know is how the current leadership are going to get us there.

If they have no plan, step aside.(Please)

JustRalph
10-15-2009, 06:59 PM
Texas tracks are something special.;) In 2000-2001 I looking at them when I got kicked up into management and no longer had the time to follow them. Now that I am retired I may have to revisit them. Thanks for reminding me.

yep......but the horses are terrible. They are the rejects that can't win in Louisiana etc. I used to love to play the Texas tracks.........not anymore

Robert Goren
10-15-2009, 11:27 PM
yep......but the horses are terrible. They are the rejects that can't win in Louisiana etc. I used to love to play the Texas tracks.........not anymore I was referring to the trainers. Most of them back then were escapees from Quarter horse and "outlaw" tracks. They knew how to "manage" their horses. They had to in order to survive on those tracks. If you bet them, you needed to know what a rodent smells like. I doubt that much has changed.

CBedo
10-16-2009, 01:33 AM
I was referring to the trainers. Most of them back then were escapees from Quarter horse and "outlaw" tracks. They knew how to "manage" their horses. They had to in order to survive on those tracks. If you bet them, you needed to know what a rodent smells like. I doubt that much has changed.because thoroughbred trainers with quarter horse backgrounds NEVER have any success crossing over.....:lol:

Imriledup
10-16-2009, 06:01 AM
Been to a baseball or football game lately?

Yes, i go occasionally.

andymays
10-16-2009, 09:41 AM
Blood in Corpse Still Pretty Warm

http://cs.bloodhorse.com/blogs/at-large-tom-lamarra/archive/2009/10/15/blood-in-corpse-still-pretty-warm.aspx

Excerpt:

Here's a bright spot: State Fair Park in Lincoln, Neb., posted double-digit gains in attendance and handle for its 37-day meet this year. Mike Newlin, director of racing operations at the track, said it charged admission but instead gave out live past-performance programs for free. Interesting, and perhaps part of the reason on-track handle increased 17%?

Small price to pay, huh? Pompano Park in South Florida just announced it will start giving away live programs to encourage wagering, another encouraging move at a time when the cost of track-owned data is becoming prohibitive to purchase.

Someone at the conference told me Daily Racing Form costs $7 on Saturdays in New York; at Saratoga Gaming and Raceway last weekend, a NYRA program that included Belmont and Keeneland sold for $4.50. Yikes. And if you wanted to play other tracks, you had to spend $5 for a DRF simulcast program that doesn't even have the third-place finisher in past-performance lines.

This is the kind of stuff that discourages and ultimately kills players. It can be rectified with a simple mindset change: Eat the cost now and benefit down the road.(Interestingly, two guys from Accumark Digital Racing Programs in West Pittston, Pa., were on hand displaying their multi-track Equibase-style programs. The number of their clients continues to grow, they said.)

There were some upbeat folks at the conference, including Andrea DeLong from Capital OTB in New York. She talked about "hybrid" fans and cultivating their interest in horse racing. She said such customers want to be valued, catered to, respected, and educated. She took a small poll that showed only 11% may wager at first, but the ones that do aren't $2 bettors; they bet $10, $20, or more.

Horseplayersbet.com
10-16-2009, 10:26 AM
There were many reasons that State Fair's handle increased. If I remember correctly the biggest reason was that they got rid of their worst handle day and extended their schedule to run on the best handle days instead. Of course, this would increase handle.

And their handle numbers this year were around $100,000 a day, so even the slightest changes can affect handle positively or negatively.

Another thing, is because of the recession, many people didn't bother to go on vacation, so far a state fair, this would be a positive, as the locals stayed local.