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View Full Version : Tioga Downs Lowers Takeout to NY State Minimum


DeanT
03-11-2010, 03:28 PM
http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/files/Tioga-Downs.jpg
Press Release March 11, 2010


Tioga Downs, in its relatively short history, has consistently been on the cutting edge of adapting the racing model toward a more positive result. In a direct response to the vocal concerns of horseplayers, Tioga Downs will reduce its takeout rate across the board to the state minimum allowed by New York law for the 2010 racing season pending regulatory approval of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. By taking such an action, Tioga management is hopeful that a positive response, over due course, will result in increased handle on its live races and foster an industry trend toward more competitive pricing.

A mutually beneficial dialogue has been ongoing between Tioga management and the Horseplayers Association of North America (HANA) toward how the needs of the bettor may best be met. HANA is a critical resource in understanding our customer and their input has been logical and subjective throughout. They recently conducted a member survey, where over 600 horseplayers who bet more than two times a week on average answered 50 questions, which yielded some interesting stats. Most notable among those was the 85.1% of those polled who voiced “moderate to extreme concern” over high takeout versus the 2.8% who answered that they had “no concern at all” over the cost of wagering. The same poll indicated that 53.9% would be likely to increase their wagering at a reduced level.

Jeff Platt, the president of HANA, had this to say in support of Tioga’s initiative: “We believe lower takeout is a step in the right direction and applaud Tioga for reaching out to the customer. Lower takeout gives players a better chance to win and over time enables players to bet more. In addition, by offering a low signal fee, Tioga is telling both ADWs and horseplayers 'We want your business.' We encourage horseplayers everywhere to support Tioga by betting their product.”

Tioga Downs' 2009 takeout rates were 18% for Win/Place/Show; 20% for exactas/doubles and 25% for all other exotics. For the 2010 race season the price of those wagers will be reduced as follows: 15% Win/Place/Show; 17% exacta/double and 21% for all other exotics, pending regulatory approval.

“Horseplayers have voiced their concern over the high takeout rates across our industry and we are responding to their call,” said Jason Settlemoir, Tioga Downs’ VP of Racing and Simulcast. “The USTA recently polled visitors to their website and 1,259 out of 1,710 people who voted (roughly 74%) responded they would be more apt to bet races if a track lowered their takeout rate. We will advertise that our takeout rates are the lowest allowed by law in New York State, and are anxious to see if business picks up due to the bettor realizing more money is going back in their pockets. We hope that bettors and host sites will support our initiative to lower takeout rates, and if our handle goes up, maybe our industry as a whole will adopt this philosophy.

“We would even consider going lower on the takeout rates to between eight and nine per cent like the typical hold in the casino world if the state would allow us, and our export sites would be on board.

“This will be a one-year pilot program that the STHHA stands behind, we had hoped to try this at Vernon as well but could not get the horsemen’s consent,” said Settlemoir.

In an effort to offset costs to host sites (tracks, OTBs and internet platforms which take wagering on the Tioga Downs product) the price of the signal to the majority of sites will be reduced to 2% and decoders will once again cost only $50 a month.

As of today the takeout rates are pending regulatory approval of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.

For more information on Tioga Downs, visit www.tiogadowns.com (http://www.tiogadowns.com/).

(Tioga)

DeanT
03-12-2010, 12:22 AM
Owner of Tioga at the HTA conference this week:

http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/55848/attendance-light-at-trahta-convention

At a panel discussing on suggestions for improvements to racing, Jeff Gural, the owner of harness tracks at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs, New York, suggested that the light attendance was because “the race tracks that don’t have slots aren’t here because they can’t afford it. Those that do have slots aren’t here because they don’t care about racing any more.”

Nevertheless, Gural said, “even though I’ve lost a lot of money, I still enjoy running Tioga Park.” And despite his losses, he remains an advocate of reducing the takeout. “If you’ve got slots,” he said, “the pari-mutuel revenues are a drop in the bucket. Why offer slots with an 8% takeout and then charge people 20% to bet on racing?”

Horseplayersbet.com
03-12-2010, 12:29 PM
Bloodhorse picked up the Tioga takeout drop story:

http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/55854/ny-harness-track-eyes-lower-takeout-rates

In other news, Horseplayersbet.com will not reduce player rewards on Tioga Downs wagers (and I might add, they are excellent to begin with).

melman
03-12-2010, 07:07 PM
Horseplayersbet----Would you please repeat your last post over in the Harness Racing section. Lower takeout same rewards program. You could call it "You can get a "whales" worth of action". :lol: Under the "Tioga Handicapping" thread.

Saratoga_Mike
03-12-2010, 07:17 PM
Bloodhorse picked up the Tioga takeout drop story:

http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/55854/ny-harness-track-eyes-lower-takeout-rates

In other news, Horseplayersbet.com will not reduce player rewards on Tioga Downs wagers (and I might add, they are excellent to begin with).

Given the following, why would you reduce the rebates?

"In an effort to offset costs to host sites (tracks, OTBs and internet platforms which take wagering on the Tioga Downs product) the price of the signal to the majority of sites will be reduced to 2% and decoders will once again cost only $50 a month. "

Horseplayersbet.com
03-12-2010, 07:25 PM
Given the following, why would you reduce the rebates?

"In an effort to offset costs to host sites (tracks, OTBs and internet platforms which take wagering on the Tioga Downs product) the price of the signal to the majority of sites will be reduced to 2% and decoders will once again cost only $50 a month. "
I don't want to hijack a HANA thread so I'll continue the conversation on the harness thread.

melman
03-12-2010, 07:27 PM
Saratoga Mike----Why? because most of those clowns will look for ANY reason to NOT keep the rebates at the same level. Plus I expect some pressure on even having Tioga on the menu. There takeout reduction might tick some of "the boys" off. And that's if they give any rebates at all. Unless you count a toaster or a $25 dollar voucher a "rebate". :D

DeanT
03-26-2010, 12:47 PM
Tioga Downs’ application to reduce the take-out on all wagers to the minimum allowable by New York State statute for the 2010 live racing season was approved at the New York State Racing & Wagering Board’s monthly meeting.

The reduction for each pool is as follows:

WPS
• from 18% to 15%

Daily Double & Exacta
• from 20% to 17%

All Other Wagers
• from 25% to 21%

This reduction is in direct response to the concerns of horseplayers nationally over the price of bets on all of horse racing. Tioga management has entered into an exchange of ideas with the Horseplayers Association of North America and continues a running dialogue with that organization in an effort to better serve its primary customers. The Southern Tier Harness Horseman’s Association has given its support to the project and continues to demonstrate a forward-thinking attitude toward racing promotion.

Tioga management considers this initiative as a pilot program to determine if a reduction in pricing will stimulate handle as demonstrated in a number of surveys and studies regarding the topic. It is their hope that all simulcast partners will support the action by offering Tioga racing to their customers. The cost of the signal to all outlets and decoder costs have been discounted to help negate any reduction in revenue to those simulcast partners.

“I would like to thank the Tioga Downs horsemen for supporting this pilot program and the New York State Racing and Wagering Board for supporting our initiative as well, we will continue to engage and listen to our customers needs and wants as we try to improve the overall business at both Tioga and Vernon Downs”, said Jason Settlemoir, the tracks' vice president of Racing.

(Tioga)

Canadian
03-27-2010, 12:02 PM
Dean,

I would like to work out what the track wagered this year and what the track would have to wager this year in order to make the same amount off wagering.

Any numbers?

DeanT
03-27-2010, 12:14 PM
If they did $130k a day last year, they would have to do about 145 or 146k a day this year.

But since simulcast is involved, betting on that single track can be a bit skewed.

At about a 22% takeout a player who loses the take will go broke in about 15 bets, with a $100 bankroll. At about 18% he can make 19 bets. If all those 19 bets are made at Tioga, instead of 15, you would see a bump based solely on churn. But as we know, if a guy gets back $82 for $20 to win on an $8.20 shot at the new rake, versus $78 at the old, that new $4 might be spent at any simo track around.

IOW, it is pretty tough to compare what will happen, and it is hard to measure, regardless. Over time, we know handle will go up, but where it goes up and by how much will always be a debate in a simulcast environment.

I think if they see a small bump on track, and a bump on simo, the added churn is doing some good, and can be built upon.

The other elephant in the room, of course, is that handle has been falling precipitously for years. So even keeping handle where it is at could be considered a huge win in this environment.

That's my long-winded two cents.

melman
03-27-2010, 12:31 PM
Dean---Woodbine harness with there higher takeout rates just cut purses to horsemen by over 15%. So that model is clearly not working. Higher takeout but less to take from. In order for lower takeout model to really work you need many more tracks to do it. But you have to start somewhere. Bravo to Tioga for making the attempt. BTW how has Tampa Bay done this year? They also cut the takeout at the start of there meet. Would be interested to see what there numbers look like.

DeanT
03-27-2010, 12:51 PM
Mel,

Tampa has done alright by lowering their takes a bit each year. We did a story on the blog last year with an interview with Berube.

http://blog.horseplayersassociation.org/2009/12/tampa-bay-downs-lowering-take-trying-to.html

A few of the vertical takes are still poor, but their larger churn takes are better and I think it has paid off somewhat for them. I think Berube mentioned that on track players (where you will see churn) have held firm over the past few years at $140 bet per person. The rest of racing has seen that gone down.

There is also a takeout simulation on that blog piece, at the old pick 3 take versus the new pick 3 take.