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Old 07-29-2009, 01:32 PM   #1
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Ten Percent Takeout is High Enough - DRF

CG digs into the old racing forms and gives us an eye-opening piece on how racing was piece by piece chipped away as a proper gambling game over the years.

Here is an article, most likely written by a DRF editor from May 13th, 1935:

The California legislature is considering an amendment to its parimutuel betting law reducing the takeout allowed the tracks from eight per cent to six. A Los Angeles assemblyman introduced it, but the change is being opposed by William P Kyne and John W Marchbank operators of the Bay Meadows and Tanforan tracks, who say they cannot operate successfully if the reduction is made at this time. The law does not have to be changed if a track wishes to have a smaller take, and it will not be surprising if Santa Anita voluntarily makes a reduction for its meeting next winter When the law is altered, however, the state should cut its percentage, which is now four. A total of ten per cent is sufficient and if anything is done by the California legislature it should at least make the tracks take seven, and the states cut three per cent. The smaller take, the better.
More at the link. Really compelling stuff that shows that racing did once realize that lower takeout was a good idea, but politicos and everyone else wanted more and more, and thought they could do it with impunity.

Another classic line from over 50 years ago:

"We have apparently failed to get across to state legislators and other public officials the message that a takeout from parimutuel pools of more than 10 or 11 per cent is not only unfair to the patrons but also is unwise and detrimental to the long term health of the sport."
Another one from 50 + years ago:

Thus we get back to this familiar and disturbing fact of racing. This is the fact that in the power politics of racing between the horsemen the organized employees. the racing associations, and the financially hard pressed state governments, every element of racing is able to force a larger slice of the pie for himself, except the racing fan, the all important lover and patron of the sport, who in the last analysis, is the man who keeps the show on the road.
Racing understood their problems more then, than they do now. Amazing!

Last edited by DeanT; 07-29-2009 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 07-29-2009, 03:34 PM   #2
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your post makes alot of sense. however there is alot more wrong with the game today than just takeout. fixing bits and pieces might be a start but it needs a complete revamp. and most importantly an individual that can lead this game back to where it was.
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:36 PM   #3
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Problems: Communications, market testing

Originally Posted by lamboguy
your post makes alot of sense. however there is alot more wrong with the game today than just takeout. fixing bits and pieces might be a start but it needs a complete revamp. and most importantly an individual that can lead this game back to where it was.
IMHO the 2 main problems where racing falls short are communications and market testing.
I see little market testing or asking for feedback by the decision makers on many aspects of betting, on-track activities and pricing, public relations, informing and attracting the public, or potential sponsorship. Very limited at best.
I do not seee 2-way communications even as much as bettors do on PA or even better via email lists restricted to owners, breeders, or organizations with no power but carrying titles (NTRA, HBPA, TOBA, and the TRA has no very active mailing list). There needs to 1 national office for communications of or interacting with the former entities I mentioned, along with providing constant positive press releases to the public media and helping organize activities aimed at influencing the public toward racing. Sort of like the media wing of presidential campaigns, working all levels of publicity and keeping in touch with all levels of the organization.
Also, TBred racing and industry needs to work closely with organizations of other racing breeds- they have a more unified authority I believe, so it should not be too hard. A number of TBred tracks as well as fairs and Qtrs tracks have more than 1 breed racing. At the Ca racing fairs we have TBred, Qtr, Mules, Arabians, and Appaloosa racing. Even trotting is ruiled by the same state authorities and use many of the same rules and betting system.
As I have stated previously, racing needs to use 2 of its potential marketing advantages aimed toward young people= enough aspects of handicapping to use as an overall teaching tools, and enough varied businesses and carreers at the track and with racehorse owners to show High School Seniors between morning break and 2nd half workouts what the working world is all about, college or otherwise (on a volunteer basis). At the same time, give interested students a card with I.D.# for future free discounts and free handicapping lessons by experienced handicappers who would earn freebies.

Last edited by kenwoodallpromos; 07-29-2009 at 09:46 PM.
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