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Old 09-09-2023, 06:36 PM   #211
Maximillion
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Originally Posted by classhandicapper View Post
IMO Finger Lakes is under utilized.

IMO, the very long term future of racing is a dozen or so short boutique meets around the country in vacation destinations. Very rich breeders and owners will dominate a much smaller but economically viable industry. Gambling and even purses will be secondary to breeding, buying and selling horses.

The Finger Lakes region is a beautiful area that could become a bigger vacation destination over time. It already has a small track and casino. I don't think it will happen, but it could.

What I'm talking about isn't going to happen in the next 10 or even 20 years. I might not even live to see it, but imo 30 years from now the surviving sport is going to look at lot different than the failing business model we have now. It has to or it will be gone. The costs are too high relative to the multitude of other gambling options.
It's interesting how views can be different.What you are describing here is the very worst thing i can think of purely from a betting perspective and nothing else.(Not saying this is what you would want)
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Old 09-09-2023, 07:12 PM   #212
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Originally Posted by classhandicapper View Post
IMO Finger Lakes is under utilized.

IMO, the very long term future of racing is a dozen or so short boutique meets around the country in vacation destinations. Very rich breeders and owners will dominate a much smaller but economically viable industry. Gambling and even purses will be secondary to breeding, buying and selling horses.

The Finger Lakes region is a beautiful area that could become a bigger vacation destination over time. It already has a small track and casino. I don't think it will happen, but it could.

What I'm talking about isn't going to happen in the next 10 or even 20 years. I might not even live to see it, but imo 30 years from now the surviving sport is going to look at lot different than the failing business model we have now. It has to or it will be gone. The costs are too high relative to the multitude of other gambling options.
If the tracks depended solely on the parimutuel handle, then I would agree with you that the operational costs are too high. But the tracks now receive added casino revenue...and the sports-betting enterprise is sure to grow to an enormous size in the near future. So...the "costs of running the game" argument no longer has a leg to stand on, IMO.

From a wagering handle perspective...the game is currently suffering for one reason, and one reason only...and that's because it's been horribly mismanaged. The game's "leadership" has never figured out that the 5-horse field and the 25% blended takeout don't make suitable companions.
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Old 09-09-2023, 07:39 PM   #213
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Originally Posted by classhandicapper View Post
IMO Finger Lakes is under utilized.

The Finger Lakes region is a beautiful area that could become a bigger vacation destination over time. It already has a small track and casino. I don't think it will happen, but it could.
.
Except from November to May.

Starting in November it starts look like a black n white movie…and cold. That’s six months where only the skiers come around and they are on their way further north
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Old 09-09-2023, 07:49 PM   #214
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I like you as an ambassador for racing. I think you have a lot to offer. I do not think you have the financial background to know what is or is not a subsidy. And it isn't important that you know because you are good at other things.
Uh - you know that Serling's prior career was on Wall Street, right? Wasn't sure if this was some sort of passive-aggressive diss. It's not like he is a former art history professor at Skidmore.

There's a lot of semantics at play here in terms of "subsidy" - NYRA itself may not receive any, but New York racing, broadly speaking, is surely "subsidized" in that the state is building and maintaining the facilities, VLT revenue is funneled to it, etc. Here's a 2022 piece from the Times Union discussing the issue.

https://www.timesunion.com/projects/...ing-subsidies/

Whether it is net-net a good thing is up for debate - you also have to weight the offsetting benefits of having the industry operating in the state.
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Old 09-09-2023, 08:23 PM   #215
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I was unaware that Andy had a finance background and I apologize for my remark that TLG is not qualified to understand subsidies.
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Old 09-10-2023, 10:18 AM   #216
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NYRA is *ultra* sensitive to people saying they get "subsidies". Any which way you slice it, it's mostly a technicality that they don't get subsidies. Everybody involved knows that without government support and favorable VLT/slot rev deals, racing in general is toast. And while NYRA and CDI would be the only operators left standing under such a scenario, both of them would be badly hobbled and the entire scale of the industry would be dramatically different than what it is now. And I don't think anybody has really thought about the implications of an industry so small that the entire racing system could only support a couple of tracks. It would not resemble anything that it is today and many people think today is an industry vastly diminished from 20 years ago.

The question is mostly *what* should NYRA do about it? And there are no easy answers. They've done some good things. They got NYRA Bets off the ground and while they aren't yet as big as XPress, TVG or TwinSpires, it was an important component to get going. They've managed the government and political issues about as good as they probably could and this area is extremely important. If you mess this part up, the rest is irrelevant. You don't have anything without doing that part right.

If there's one thing they aught to do is just be more aggressive in trying things on the betting facing front. And be twice as aggressive in dropping them when they don't work. NYRA Bets for instance was a decade or two too late. Pulling away from TVG was a decade or two too late. They've done nothing in the sports betting space which is where the younger bettors are. It's incredible to me that we are in year 6 in NJ of legal sports betting and yet there is no single wallet. It's insanity and it was major L taken during the covid period where these accounts had billions of dollars dormant and people were hungry to bet and there was no easy way to do so. You had to sign up for an ADW. That was dumb and lacked foresight.

Way back in the BetFair exchange days, NYRA would tell BetFair that they wanted to see how the smaller tracks do before making a deal to offer NYRA content on the exchange. This type of thinking is wrong. It's leading from the back. Either do it or don't but don't BS and say you want to see how po-dunk downs does to make a deal. Make a deal and see how it goes. In some ways they have been *way* too conservative in customer acquisition and have often taken the path of least resistance, which is just as if not more expensive - TV shows, etc. They need to move faster and be more dynamic on this front. Time is running out.
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Old 09-10-2023, 02:23 PM   #217
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I've never understood why NYRA doesn't promote going to Belmont during the Saratoga meet. I'd promote the Big A too but I realize that's an acquired taste. For many of the people at Saratoga, Belmont is an easy day trip away
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Old 09-10-2023, 06:32 PM   #218
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Originally Posted by thaskalos View Post
If the tracks depended solely on the parimutuel handle, then I would agree with you that the operational costs are too high. But the tracks now receive added casino revenue...and the sports-betting enterprise is sure to grow to an enormous size in the near future. So...the "costs of running the game" argument no longer has a leg to stand on, IMO.
What you are describing is exactly why I think my scenario is inevitable.

How long is everyone going to be economically foolish enough to keep horse racing alive in its present form using revenue from casinos, sports, and whatever else they can dream up?

We already see people smartening up.

Let's say I own a Italian bakery next door to my Italian restaurant. Let's say my restaurant is wildly popular and profitable, but my bakery is struggling.

I can keep my bakery open for awhile using the profits from the restaurant (I can even say they are not subsidies ) while I try to raise my canoli sales, but at a certain point I'd be an idiot to continue. Eventually I should close the bakery and probably expand the restaurant.

Horse racing is the bakery.

The only reason we've been able to use casino money and all that valuable land for horse racing investment, operations and purses for so long is because there are influential lobbying efforts from the racing industry and corrupt/incompetent/short tern thinking politicians making the decisions.

In most cases the land is WAY more valuable, would create more jobs over the long term, and would generate more tax revenue over the long term if it was being used more productively.

I thought we'd be further along by now. I underestimated the extent of the corruption, foolishness, and especially short term thinking of politicians while in my idealistic youth. However, IMO, eventually, this industry is going to be a LOT smaller. Almost no one is crazy forever.

IMO, it will be even more dominated by rich breeders and owners racing mostly at vacation destination tracks with good crowds and gambling money coming in from all over the world.
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Old 09-10-2023, 07:04 PM   #219
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Originally Posted by classhandicapper View Post
What you are describing is exactly why I think my scenario is inevitable.

How long is everyone going to be economically foolish enough to keep horse racing alive in its present form using revenue from casinos, sports, and whatever else they can dream up?

We already see people smartening up.

Let's say I own a Italian bakery next door to my Italian restaurant. Let's say my restaurant is wildly popular and profitable, but my bakery is struggling.

I can keep my bakery open for awhile using the profits from the restaurant (I can even say they are not subsidies ) while I try to raise my canoli sales, but at a certain point I'd be an idiot to continue. Eventually I should close the bakery and probably expand the restaurant.

Horse racing is the bakery.

The only reason we've been able to use casino money and all that valuable land for horse racing investment, operations and purses for so long is because there are influential lobbying efforts from the racing industry and corrupt/incompetent/short tern thinking politicians making the decisions.

In most cases the land is WAY more valuable, would create more jobs over the long term, and would generate more tax revenue over the long term if it was being used more productively.

I thought we'd be further along by now. I underestimated the extent of the corruption, foolishness, and especially short term thinking of politicians while in my idealistic youth. However, IMO, eventually, this industry is going to be a LOT smaller. Almost no one is crazy forever.

IMO, it will be even more dominated by rich breeders and owners racing mostly at vacation destination tracks with good crowds and gambling money coming in from all over the world.

Yea I think without a doubt if this sport didn't exist and you wanted to let's say create horse racing as a gambling game today which is self-sustaining and thriving entirely on handle alone it wouldn't have this whole industry built around its neck like a giant millstone.

What we have now is far away from what someone might design on a drawing board from scratch.

Drug-free racing would be key for me.
Also a smaller population of horses, many geldings that are pampered and have careers long enough to have a public 'following' then retire to good aftercare.
I'd want some sort of exchange wagering which accepts horse against horse wagers. I think to compete against sports betting that's key and it allows better churn when know-nothings are winning half their bets instead of chasing pick 5's at .0005% chance of actually cashing out. You want people to lose slowly by death of a thousand cuts betting every day not drop a nuclear bomb on their bankroll once every month. Money management is set at a very high bar in this game and lack of high-percentage betting options at low takeout I think drives folks to bet on other sports.
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Old 09-10-2023, 11:23 PM   #220
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The structural costs to support horse racing cannot be so different in other parts of the world. Why do those other parts not need subsidies to thrive? Is America doing it wrong? Should we have Asians or Brits take over our racing industry and show us how its done?
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Old 09-11-2023, 12:43 AM   #221
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Yea I think without a doubt if this sport didn't exist and you wanted to let's say create horse racing as a gambling game today which is self-sustaining and thriving entirely on handle alone it wouldn't have this whole industry built around its neck like a giant millstone.

What we have now is far away from what someone might design on a drawing board from scratch.

Drug-free racing would be key for me.

Also a smaller population of horses, many geldings that are pampered and have careers long enough to have a public 'following' then retire to good aftercare.
Based on some of your solid comments, you might want to get involved with the racing in Hong Kong if havenít done it already.
There's no need to go back to the drawing board. The design has been fully implemented and working extremely well. The problem is the management of the Stateside racing jurisdictions don't have the desire or the brains to emulate it.
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Old 09-11-2023, 12:58 AM   #222
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The structural costs to support horse racing cannot be so different in other parts of the world. Why do those other parts not need subsidies to thrive? Is America doing it wrong? Should we have Asians or Brits take over our racing industry and show us how its done?
Might want to check out the takeout in some of those places, makes ours seem generous.
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Old 09-11-2023, 08:05 AM   #223
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Might want to check out the takeout in some of those places, makes ours seem generous.
Much has been made about our empathy for people who are employed in the industry and folks who enjoy being around horses. If these other parts of the world pay a couple more percent in takeout for the industry to flourish, why would we rather watch our horse racing industry wither? The bettors in these other parts of the world don't seem to mind.
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Old 09-11-2023, 11:13 AM   #224
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HK

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Originally Posted by Bustin Stones View Post
Much has been made about our empathy for people who are employed in the industry and folks who enjoy being around horses. If these other parts of the world pay a couple more percent in takeout for the industry to flourish, why would we rather watch our horse racing industry wither? The bettors in these other parts of the world don't seem to mind.
"Only" 150M USD in handle for HK opening day at Sha Tin

https://www.scmp.com/sport/racing/ar...-their-spirits

This was after record levels of rain - a typhoon and then some

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-p...ro-2023-09-08/

And wagering was still down only 7%, and because they actually have a modern drainage system, racing stayed on the turf

Maybe NYRA should call this company https://strathayrsolutions.com/turf-solutions/ who I never heard of before, but apparently is responsible for these systems which clearly work a lot better than whatever they are doing in Saratoga and have done over time downstate as well

Russ Harris used to rightly bemoan how easily races were taken off the Turf at Belmont and called for a tarp - loss of handle over time from races off the turf could be calculated as to how much has been lost due to this lack of foresight, this last meet at the Spa alone (and whenever we have a rainy summer), let alone the related safety issues

HK racing is much safer by the numbers also - maybe just maybe it would be worth an investment so that horses don't frequently break down as much in front of fans, who may never show up again, I wonder if those (former?) fans know how much less safe US racing than it needs to be

https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-rac...-s-can-improve

Gaining back lost fans will take some doing, making an investment in safety would raise handle and confidence, but is NYRA even thinking about doing this at the Spa?

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Old 09-11-2023, 12:07 PM   #225
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Unlike in real world situations, all you need is an internet connection to be an on-line expert on things you don't understand. Facts? Of little to no consequence.
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