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View Full Version : Tampa Bay - Interview and Lower Takeout for Dec 12th meet


DeanT
12-01-2009, 03:50 PM
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tampa Bay Downs - Lowering Take, Trying to Build Their Business (http://blog.horseplayersassociation.org/2009/12/tampa-bay-downs-lowering-take-trying-to.html)

http://www.tampabaydowns.com/images/sub_hdr_logo.jpg (http://www.tampabaydowns.com/images/sub_hdr_logo.jpg)HANA had a phone chat with Tampa Bay Downs' Peter Berube about everything Tampa

A track lowering takeout? A track catering with on-track rewards programs? A track where the customer feels like he is wanted? These appear to be all things being tried at the Florida oval that is Tampa bay Downs.

Reaching Peter Berube by phone was not at all difficult. He is a player, and wants to talk racing. It is no secret that thoroughbred racing is going through tough times. If we had only held inflation since 1998 our overall handle would be approaching $19B. Instead, we are approaching $12B in 2009.

"We like many have lost the bigger player and they are tough to get back", says Berube.

At HANA this is no secret as our players have said they are playing less, or not playing much at all as compared to yesteryear. Bankroll growth, and interest in the game from the serious players perspective has lessened.

Despite this loss, Tampa is holding their own, and are doing so with good old fashioned price cutting and customer service. This year they have lowered takeout yet again. Only five years ago their takeout was almost 26% blended on exotics and close to 19% in WPS. This year, takeout on WPS pools is 17.5%, doubles 18%, horizontals 19%, exactas 20.5% and tris and supers 25.9%.

"I'm a player so I know about churn and takeout. Right now we are not seeing any major change in revenues, so if we can we will keep lowering it to find the right spot." says Peter.

In addition Tampa has added 50 cent pick 4's and tris, which as part of the HANA track ratings system was welcomed by horseplayers.

"I know that is something you [HANA] have asked for. I measure this and have for years, so we should be able to see if those bets help us", said Peter.

It does not stop there. Tampa has an ontrack player rewards program which is excellent. If you bet $8000 over the meet, for example, expect a 1.25% rebate. This places their effective takeout with the best overall tracks to play in North America in terms of price.

The exotics (pick 3 and pick 4) make for an interesting case study, and HANA believes that horseplayers should be well aware of how these lower prices can help him/her.

Let's do a simulation:

Player A plays $24 pick 3's at Tampa. He is a losing player and gets $110 back for each $120 bet in the pick 3's.

Player B plays at a track those same pick 3's in $24 bets, but at this track, the pick 3's have a 25% takeout.

What happens?

Player "A" at Tampa with the local rebate and lower takeout bets $118.50 for a return of $110, therefore experiencing bankroll shrinkage of $8.50 for each 5 bet sequence. Player "B" bets a full $120 for a return of $101.85 @ a 25% rake therefore loses $18.15 for each 5 bet sequence.

The Tampa player can churn $2808 (118 bets) before hitting ruin. Player "B" at the high takeout track will churn $1320 (55 bets) before going broke. The track nets $491.40 from player "A" (17.5% of $2808) and $330.00 from player "B" (25% of 1320).

In effect with that hit rate, you can play twice as long at Tampa with your bankroll as you can at the high takeout track!

This is not lost on players. It is a long held customer service contention that if you can turn your most ardent critics, you are doing something right. Rich Bauer is a player who takes his game very seriously. He after all, is the creator of Trackthieves.com (http://www.trackthieves.com/), a website which informs players that racetracks are not doing what needs to be done for their customers. He is very dedicated to playing tracks that only he feels respect him, as we all should. When contacted, this often times vocal critic had this to say about Tampa:

"I've been going to Tampa since the winter of 2004. This year I will be there for all of January. It's about a 12-hour drive from where I live which can be done in a day although I usually break the trip into 2 days. I never really considered South Florida or SoCal for a racing vacation since I retired in 2004. Although we now stay on the Gulf, so it's about a 35-minute drive to the track, there are plenty of reasonable motel/hotel accommodations within a mile or two of the track. The place is clean and well kept. The employees are exceptionally friendly. The racing has improved every year and the turf course is as good as it gets. Valet parking is two bucks. So, what's not to like?

Tampa has been reducing takeout selectively and permanently for what I believe is now four years. Can you point to ANY OTHER RACETRACK that has done that? They do not have the luxury of being part of a major circuit. They do not have the luxury of significant purse supplements from alternative gaming. The management has a record of making measured changes in the betting platform as well as takeout and then monitoring how those changes affect their business. From a business perspective, it's hard to argue with their approach or their results."

In our recently conducted HANA survey, 59.6% of you said you would move a good portion of your play to a track that caters to your takeout needs. Tampa appears to be that track, so we encourage members to give this place a look. Nice weather, pretty deep fields, low takeout as compared to others where you will keep more in your pocket.

As Rich said "What's not to like?"

To sign up for HANA please click this link (http://www.jcapper.com/HANA/SignUp/HANASignUpForm.asp?source=1). We need your help. Please keep following the blog for more Tampa news as we hope to have some blog pieces up about playing the Florida track, from players who do.

To visit Tampa Bay's website you can here (http://www.tampabaydowns.com/Racing.aspx).

Track Collector
12-01-2009, 07:42 PM
Have they lowered their fees to ADW's who offer rebates so that the player can have more? I could be wrong, but I thought Tam was one of those tracks that expected to garner a premium for their signal, thus leaving ADW's with very little to reward their customers.

BTW, I get to visit Tam once a year when visiting in-laws over the Christmas holidays. Sure beats mid-Atlantic state weather.:)

Space Monkey
12-01-2009, 08:51 PM
Nice interview. I'm a Tampa resident who will be on track more this year than ever. I fully expect to CRUSH the Pik 4 this year:) . If ever a track deserves increased play, Tampa does. Unfortunately the track has to depend on the snowbirds for track attendance. The locals can't get their head out of their football asses. :bang:

GaryG
12-01-2009, 09:06 PM
This is really good news. This is my best meeting and I know there are others here who like it as well. Tom I think.

CincyHorseplayer
12-01-2009, 10:53 PM
I switched to Tampa last year over up north winter racing.Seems more formful and with their platform why not.


Had mid odds horses to win quite often and my biggest winner of the year at 39-1.Exacta's gave me fits though.


Look forward to this meet.

And check this out if you haven't;


http://tbdhpl.ning.com/

GaryG
12-02-2009, 07:56 AM
Cincy - thanks for that link. Looks like some good stuff so I signed up.

Ian Meyers
12-09-2009, 09:13 PM
TAM is not only a great track for me to play, the people that run it from Peter to the simulcast director Cathy Dwyer to track announcer Richard Grunder are 1st class human beings. I am excited they're open for business again on Saturday. :)

netbet
12-10-2009, 11:48 AM
I will be playing the Tampa meet. Great turf course and full fields. They also provide great live video and race replays which are a big bonus in my book....and did I mention that the video is FREE!

Go Tampa!

GaryG
12-10-2009, 12:09 PM
The TBD home page has always said the meet was "tentatively scheduled to open Dec 12". No entries yet. I have not heard of any ongoing negotiations or issues....??

netbet
12-10-2009, 03:14 PM
Entries are finally available.

InsideThePylons-MW
12-12-2009, 05:00 PM
Just for the record in case anything bad happens to her.....In the upcoming feature race here at TB.....appx. 4 months ago, the trainer of a horse in this race said that "she will never race again" because "she has too many things wrong with her". He put her in the Nov Kee sale as a broodmare prospect only. Now she's miraculously back racing with all these things wrong with her.

DeanT
12-12-2009, 06:39 PM
The miracles of modern science.

Appears to be a record handle today. Lotsa folks out at the track by the looks if it too.

CincyHorseplayer
12-12-2009, 07:06 PM
What's the gal's name that does the prerace gig???

Space Monkey
12-12-2009, 11:43 PM
Just for the record in case anything bad happens to her.....In the upcoming feature race here at TB.....appx. 4 months ago, the trainer of a horse in this race said that "she will never race again" because "she has too many things wrong with her". He put her in the Nov Kee sale as a broodmare prospect only. Now she's miraculously back racing with all these things wrong with her.

Who are you talking about Inside?? If you're going to make a post like this, name the principles involved!!

rrbauer
12-13-2009, 12:17 AM
What's the gal's name that does the prerace gig???

Margo Flynn.

rrbauer
12-13-2009, 12:21 AM
The miracles of modern science.

Appears to be a record handle today. Lotsa folks out at the track by the looks if it too.

They usually have big crowds on opening day. A couple things that I noticed today: New trainers and new jockeys that haven't been regulars in years past.

trying2win
12-13-2009, 07:33 AM
Dean:

Thanks for the great story on Tampa Bay Downs. Nice to read about a management that 'gets it' in several ways, for the benefit of the most important part of the horse racing scene in my opinion...that is THE CUSTOMER!"


T2W

BillW
12-13-2009, 11:40 PM
The miracles of modern science.

Appears to be a record handle today. Lotsa folks out at the track by the looks if it too.

$4.916 million

Stillriledup
12-14-2009, 12:06 AM
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tampa Bay Downs - Lowering Take, Trying to Build Their Business (http://blog.horseplayersassociation.org/2009/12/tampa-bay-downs-lowering-take-trying-to.html)

http://www.tampabaydowns.com/images/sub_hdr_logo.jpg (http://www.tampabaydowns.com/images/sub_hdr_logo.jpg)HANA had a phone chat with Tampa Bay Downs' Peter Berube about everything Tampa

A track lowering takeout? A track catering with on-track rewards programs? A track where the customer feels like he is wanted? These appear to be all things being tried at the Florida oval that is Tampa bay Downs.

Reaching Peter Berube by phone was not at all difficult. He is a player, and wants to talk racing. It is no secret that thoroughbred racing is going through tough times. If we had only held inflation since 1998 our overall handle would be approaching $19B. Instead, we are approaching $12B in 2009.

"We like many have lost the bigger player and they are tough to get back", says Berube.

At HANA this is no secret as our players have said they are playing less, or not playing much at all as compared to yesteryear. Bankroll growth, and interest in the game from the serious players perspective has lessened.

Despite this loss, Tampa is holding their own, and are doing so with good old fashioned price cutting and customer service. This year they have lowered takeout yet again. Only five years ago their takeout was almost 26% blended on exotics and close to 19% in WPS. This year, takeout on WPS pools is 17.5%, doubles 18%, horizontals 19%, exactas 20.5% and tris and supers 25.9%.

"I'm a player so I know about churn and takeout. Right now we are not seeing any major change in revenues, so if we can we will keep lowering it to find the right spot." says Peter.

In addition Tampa has added 50 cent pick 4's and tris, which as part of the HANA track ratings system was welcomed by horseplayers.

"I know that is something you [HANA] have asked for. I measure this and have for years, so we should be able to see if those bets help us", said Peter.

It does not stop there. Tampa has an ontrack player rewards program which is excellent. If you bet $8000 over the meet, for example, expect a 1.25% rebate. This places their effective takeout with the best overall tracks to play in North America in terms of price.

The exotics (pick 3 and pick 4) make for an interesting case study, and HANA believes that horseplayers should be well aware of how these lower prices can help him/her.

Let's do a simulation:

Player A plays $24 pick 3's at Tampa. He is a losing player and gets $110 back for each $120 bet in the pick 3's.

Player B plays at a track those same pick 3's in $24 bets, but at this track, the pick 3's have a 25% takeout.

What happens?

Player "A" at Tampa with the local rebate and lower takeout bets $118.50 for a return of $110, therefore experiencing bankroll shrinkage of $8.50 for each 5 bet sequence. Player "B" bets a full $120 for a return of $101.85 @ a 25% rake therefore loses $18.15 for each 5 bet sequence.

The Tampa player can churn $2808 (118 bets) before hitting ruin. Player "B" at the high takeout track will churn $1320 (55 bets) before going broke. The track nets $491.40 from player "A" (17.5% of $2808) and $330.00 from player "B" (25% of 1320).

In effect with that hit rate, you can play twice as long at Tampa with your bankroll as you can at the high takeout track!

This is not lost on players. It is a long held customer service contention that if you can turn your most ardent critics, you are doing something right. Rich Bauer is a player who takes his game very seriously. He after all, is the creator of Trackthieves.com (http://www.trackthieves.com/), a website which informs players that racetracks are not doing what needs to be done for their customers. He is very dedicated to playing tracks that only he feels respect him, as we all should. When contacted, this often times vocal critic had this to say about Tampa:

"I've been going to Tampa since the winter of 2004. This year I will be there for all of January. It's about a 12-hour drive from where I live which can be done in a day although I usually break the trip into 2 days. I never really considered South Florida or SoCal for a racing vacation since I retired in 2004. Although we now stay on the Gulf, so it's about a 35-minute drive to the track, there are plenty of reasonable motel/hotel accommodations within a mile or two of the track. The place is clean and well kept. The employees are exceptionally friendly. The racing has improved every year and the turf course is as good as it gets. Valet parking is two bucks. So, what's not to like?

Tampa has been reducing takeout selectively and permanently for what I believe is now four years. Can you point to ANY OTHER RACETRACK that has done that? They do not have the luxury of being part of a major circuit. They do not have the luxury of significant purse supplements from alternative gaming. The management has a record of making measured changes in the betting platform as well as takeout and then monitoring how those changes affect their business. From a business perspective, it's hard to argue with their approach or their results."

In our recently conducted HANA survey, 59.6% of you said you would move a good portion of your play to a track that caters to your takeout needs. Tampa appears to be that track, so we encourage members to give this place a look. Nice weather, pretty deep fields, low takeout as compared to others where you will keep more in your pocket.

As Rich said "What's not to like?"

To sign up for HANA please click this link (http://www.jcapper.com/HANA/SignUp/HANASignUpForm.asp?source=1). We need your help. Please keep following the blog for more Tampa news as we hope to have some blog pieces up about playing the Florida track, from players who do.

To visit Tampa Bay's website you can here (http://www.tampabaydowns.com/Racing.aspx).


Tampa's tri takeout is over 25% and they're patting themselves on the back?

takeout
12-14-2009, 05:47 AM
I wasn’t going to say it but I’m glad you did. :) They’ve still got a ways to go.
Their exacta rake needs to come down some more also.

turfnsport
12-14-2009, 10:58 AM
No PTC for Florida residents again. I guess TB wants me to drive to the track every day.

1st time lasix
12-14-2009, 11:23 AM
The takeouts at TBD are favorable for the doubles/pick threes/pic fours and pic sixes. Excellent for the horizontal player. Not so good for the vertical orientated player. Their rake on the win/exactas are just ok. The tris and supers are still very high. Well above what i think is reasonable. I avoid them .........unless there is a special situation where I have handicapped in "a bomb" that I think is being ignored that i want to put underneath. I was there Saturday....sitting in a box with a couple of owners that are firends of mine. Went to the backside barns earlier with them prior to first post. Nice crowd. Great weather. A few winners and some cold beer. Unfortunately we didn't get into the winner's circle with their entries. Overall they seem to be improving the place each year with some capital improvements. The parking and entry roads are being upgraded. I did see a older ticket vender take a head first dive off his stool. Poor guy must have lost his balance. They rushed in some medical personal. Darn odds on favorite won the last and I had the next two in the late pick four! UGH! :bang: Would have enjoyed treating the group at Donatello's with the winfall! I was surpised that all day their were not more double digit longshots on the top. The public sniffed out the winners pretty well.

rrbauer
12-14-2009, 11:50 AM
No PTC for Florida residents again. I guess TB wants me to drive to the track every day.

Probably a short-sighted deal made by PTC in order to get Tampa's signal. I believe that you can bet Tampa at some other ADW's but not being a Florida resident, I'm not sure. You should complain to the track. Plenty of contact info at their website.

rrbauer
12-14-2009, 12:01 PM
The miracles of modern science.

Appears to be a record handle today. Lotsa folks out at the track by the looks if it too.

It was a record handle for opening day and could've been more except for a pissing match over the signal fee with 9 tracks. I guess it must be the mid-Atlantic group because Tampa was not showing up on Philly's toteboard on Saturday.

rrbauer
12-14-2009, 06:25 PM
It was a record handle for opening day and could've been more except for a pissing match over the signal fee with 9 tracks. I guess it must be the mid-Atlantic group because Tampa was not showing up on Philly's toteboard on Saturday.

I've learned that the signal dispute has been resolved and that it WAS NOT with the mid-Atlantic group.

CincyHorseplayer
12-15-2009, 11:31 AM
Margo Flynn.


One of the funniest jokes I heard on here this year was somebody asking "Is that an alligator in the infield?And the reply was no,it's Margo!!".I just couldn't remember her name.

Maybe too cheesy.But not bad!

rrbauer
12-15-2009, 11:49 AM
One of the funniest jokes I heard on here this year was somebody asking "Is that an alligator in the infield?And the reply was no,it's Margo!!".I just couldn't remember her name.

Maybe too cheesy.But not bad!

There ARE alligators in the infield ponds!

Horseplayersbet.com
12-16-2009, 09:02 PM
There ARE alligators in the infield ponds!
Congrats on the link by Pricci:
http://www.horseraceinsider.com/blog.php/John-Pricci/comments/12162009-tampa-bay-downs-continues-taking-positive-steps/#comments

rrbauer
01-14-2010, 04:47 PM
Learned today that all-sources handle thru Jan 13 is up 7% at Tampa.

DeanT
01-14-2010, 05:00 PM
Learned today that all-sources handle thru Jan 13 is up 7% at Tampa.

Hmmm. Could lower takeout and good customer service be a reason?

Nah, that is crazy talk.

lamboguy
01-14-2010, 06:11 PM
Hmmm. Could lower takeout and good customer service be a reason?

Nah, that is crazy talk. frankly its not that big a surprise to me to see the handle go up there. that place doesn't have one person dominate the clocking of horses in the morning. they give the racing fan a first class chance to select their horses.

InsideThePylons-MW
01-14-2010, 06:30 PM
Hmmm. Could lower takeout and good customer service be a reason?

Nah, that is crazy talk.

The main beneficiary of the Tracknet shakedown of Mid-Atlantic.

A noticable increased presence on TVG.

Helped by the numerous cancellations of cards caused by the horrible weather.

The degradation of the other viable winter racing product (SoCal and NoCal), has bettors looking for new tracks which obviously helps.

Space Monkey
01-14-2010, 07:26 PM
I think its a combination of all those factors. In this economy, to be up 7% is quite impressive, especially when most of the "snowbirds" haven't arrived yet. On track handle will only go up from here.

CincyHorseplayer
01-15-2010, 04:00 AM
Learned today that all-sources handle thru Jan 13 is up 7% at Tampa.


What's the 3 year upswing in all-sources handle,do you know by chance Rich?

rrbauer
01-15-2010, 10:29 AM
What's the 3 year upswing in all-sources handle,do you know by chance Rich?

Don't know. I do know that the cold weather in the area has impacted the on-track handle and it's "down" from last year thru the 13th...how much I don't know.