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Old 07-15-2009, 04:12 AM   #31
Jeff P
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Want a HANA Flag to rally around?

Here's what HANA stands for:

1. Signal availability - ALL track signals to be available at all times on the lineups of ALL licensed ADWs. No blackouts. No exclusive deals to the contrary. Period. It isn't about fighting to get a bigger piece of the pie. It's about realizing that the good of the game and growing the game comes first and getting the product out to the customer at a reasonable price is the first priority.

2. Takeout Reduction - A mechanism needs to be put in place so that takeout can be adjusted to the true optimal pricing point. What's an optimal pricing point? Money flowing to state coffers and money made available for purses is a percentage of handle. Handle is elastic. 100 percent takeout would very quickly drive handle downward to zero. Zero takeout would spark an enormous increase in handle. Somewhere in between is the point where handle produces max revenue for state coffers and max money available for purses. Right now takeout is far too high... too high compared to other forms of gambling that racing competes with... high takeout is a big part of the reason racing has tried to rely on slots (a lower takeout gambling game where the house edge IS very close to the optimal pricing point) for welfare. Instead of relying on slots, racing should COMPETE with slots. Where's the optimal pricing point? My belief is that it's somewhere between 9 and 11 percent. That's 9 to 11 percent takeout for every wager type in every pool - all the time - 365 days a year. But we'll never know for sure what the optimal pricing point is until a mechanism is put in place that requires the industry to seek it out.

3. Drugs - Racing has a perception problem. Non horseplayers view racing as a game that's not on the up and up. Horseplayers view the game the same way too. When the industry gives a trainer a slap on the wrist for his Xth drug positive it sends a message to players and would be players that there is no integrity in racing - none whatsoever. This has to change. Racing needs to be regulated in a way that there are no questions whatsoever about the integrity of the game. The long term goal here is a national drug policy with teeth - where the rules are based on common sense but are the same everywhere - and where the rule breakers are banned from the game.

4. Pool Integrity. Racing has a perception problem. Duh. Non horseplayers view racing as a game that's not on the up and up. Horseplayers view the game the same way too. Again, duh. When the industry insists on using an obsolete tote system that enables the odds to change during the running of the race... When the industry knowingly allows bets to be cancelled after the race has started (it's called the cancel delay) it sends a message to players and non players alike that there is no integrity in racing - none whatsoever. This has to change. Again, racing needs to be regulated in such a way that there are no questions whatsoever about the integrity of the game. It's time the industry invested in its own future and created a modern secure tote system fast enough to render odds and payoffs in real time.



If there were a HANA flag, THESE would be the rallying points.


-jp

.

That's the point where takeout is lowered to the point where it sparks enough of a handle increase
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Old 07-15-2009, 04:57 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Jeff P
To those who think HANA should be a bunch of militants running around blowing up race tracks... I'll not apologize for aking a different approach to things. I'm not about to apologize for quietly growing membership and working behind the scenes to: gain a true understanding of problems that plague the industry and effect change from there.

If you want to blow up race tracks go start your own organization.
Are you serious?

You can't see the difference between blowing up racetracks and the perception that HANA has become so friendly with racing entities that when they commit a horrendous act against horseplayers, HANA is mysteriously silent.

During your TVG interview, they said they were horseplayer friendly, for the horseplayer, lower takeout is great etc. while charging 25 cents per bet. Now they've gone to promoting tracks which are 100% anti-horseplayer (many of your members agree including vocal ones like Cangamble and rrbauer) and maybe it's tough to say anything bad about them because they gave you a TV platform. Even though that may be totally false, the perception makes it arguably plausible.

I know this may sound funny, but I was on the phone for over an hour tonight with the head of a national racing orginization/governing body and near the end of our call he asked me "do you know anything about the betting group that moves around from track to track and bets on a different one each week".....after a second or two I snapped and realized he was talking about HANA. I told him what you are about and what I thought about you (believe it or not.. 98% good ). So you are getting your name out there to people.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:07 AM   #33
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1. Signal Availability. 2. Takeout Reduction. 3. Drugs. 4. Pool Integrity.

Am I serious?

Hell effing yes I'm serious. I want change in the above four areas. Staging protests and boycotts and getting in shouting matches with industry leaders isn't going to effect change.

Well, boycotts might once we have a much larger member base. <G>

Sitting down at the table with them and making them aware of customer needs and wants - and shining a spotlight on areas where those needs and wants are ignored the most IS getting us some traction. We've been at it just under a year and in that time I HAVE seen an attitude shift starting to take place within the industry. Whereas I saw absolutely none before we got started. Maybe that change is subtle. And maybe it's based on the fact that they at least know that we will shine a spotlight on them (which they hate btw)...

It would be a whole lot easier to hand a track or a horsemen's association a "zero handle weekend" if we had 75,000 members. Or maybe even the right 7 or 8 members. And maybe that's what it'll utlimately take to get the kind of change enacted that we want to see.

But yes, I'm completely serious when I say I hope it never has to come to that. I'm completely serious when I say it's in the industry's best interest to effect change on their own and do it right now.

Because without sweeping change a whole lot of tracks currently on the bubble are going to close in the next few years. And that won't be because of HANA. It'll happen because those in charge of racing lack the vision to make the very changes that are so desperately needed - and because they deliberately chose to ignore the recommendations of all the panels and outside consultants that they hired - and because they chose to ignore something that no business should ever ignore: the importance of the customer and customer needs and wants.

1. Signal Availability. 2. Takeout Reduction. 3. Drugs. 4. Pool Integrity.

One way or another change will happen.


-jp

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Old 07-15-2009, 07:24 AM   #34
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Quote:
You can't see the difference between blowing up racetracks and the perception that HANA has become so friendly with racing entities that when they commit a horrendous act against horseplayers, HANA is mysteriously silent.

During your TVG interview, they said they were horseplayer friendly, for the horseplayer, lower takeout is great etc. while charging 25 cents per bet. Now they've gone to promoting tracks which are 100% anti-horseplayer (many of your members agree including vocal ones like Cangamble and rrbauer) and maybe it's tough to say anything bad about them because they gave you a TV platform. Even though that may be totally false, the perception makes it arguably plausible.
Arguably plausible or not such a perception would be severely misguided.

For the record:

The fee of 25 cents per bet is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen. Any bettor who pays a separate fee to bet above and beyond the takeout should take his business elsewhere. Immediately. Whether they had me on TV or not is completely irrelevant. If you are paying a fee to bet at TVG (or anywhere else for that matter) you need to know that there are far better options out there.

Woodbine's 28.3 percent takeout on trifectas is an obscenity. So is their policy about hiking takeout to Woodbine levels for the Canadian player who manages to hit a tri at an American track with a lesser takeout. I find that practice deplorable and a disgrace to racing.

BTW, the HANA Board had a phone conversation with an industry exec Tues night. The topic of discussion was pool integrity. The disconnect between the industry and the player in this one area is so large as to be almost laughable.


-jp

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Old 07-15-2009, 09:40 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff P
Arguably plausible or not such a perception would be severely misguided.

For the record:

The fee of 25 cents per bet is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen. Any bettor who pays a separate fee to bet above and beyond the takeout should take his business elsewhere. Immediately. Whether they had me on TV or not is completely irrelevant. If you are paying a fee to bet at TVG (or anywhere else for that matter) you need to know that there are far better options out there.

Woodbine's 28.3 percent takeout on trifectas is an obscenity. So is their policy about hiking takeout to Woodbine levels for the Canadian player who manages to hit a tri at an American track with a lesser takeout. I find that practice deplorable and a disgrace to racing.

BTW, the HANA Board had a phone conversation with an industry exec Tues night. The topic of discussion was pool integrity. The disconnect between the industry and the player in this one area is so large as to be almost laughable.


-jp

.
Just to correct you, Woodbine's tri take is now 27%. They leap frogged from 68th highest to 66th highest. They did it to rationalize hiking Magna, Tracknet, and California tri takes to 27% from 25%.
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:38 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff P
Want a HANA Flag to rally around?

Here's what HANA stands for:

1. Signal availability -...

2. Takeout Reduction - ...

3. Drugs - ...

4. Pool Integrity. ...


If there were a HANA flag, THESE would be the rallying points.
That's a good start. But those are platitudes that anyone can say and feel good about. Maybe it's time you sat down and expanded on those thoughts.

Signal availability - The argument for exclusivity is because TVG puts the race on TV in places where TVG doesn't accept the bet. Don't ignore that, find a solution so racing is encouraged to be on TV. A section discussing signal availability would also take a look at the rules and laws governing. If you are able to talk to executives find out the hurdles and find out what give and take there is.

Takeout Reduction - Define Mechanism. There are levels of elasticity and inelasticity, do the study and find out how elastic. (If there is a study this is why you need a platform so people can go learn). Maybe a 5 year plan where tracks sign on as a group to lower take out %'s at a time. Something like this would have to be done in coordination w/ contract rewriting and signal negotiation. I've talked to racing exec too, and they don't make a lot of dough off what should be their sole focus, their signal.

Drugs - Mountaineer, I'm told, doesn't have the best backstretch for horse welfare and safety, they aren't one of the first tracks to be tested by the NTRA because the NTRA doesn't want a black eye right out of the box, and yet HANA will have a pool party there. Thoughts?

Pool Integrity - Everyone at HANA is ready to give more money to those accepting the wager over the people putting on the show, a group completely left out is the tote. Their margins are razor thin and their is no impetus or money to improve current conditions.

When you're talking to racing executives you are speaking on behalf of your membership. It would be nice to know a little more than 562 words on our platform. And have the info you use to back up your points.

Even I have a hard time believing more money should go to the wager taker over the people making the wager possible.

Opinion follows (that I'm sure would get me kicked out of HANA had it a platform one had to sign up for)- - -
And someone else asked me about sport vs game. I'm a big believer that most people if involved as a sport first move to wanting to wager on it. Is the Super Bowl popular because people wager on it, or do people wager on it because it's so popular? So, I don't believe takeout should depend on either, there is a level that is optimal for everyone. Furthermore, If I bet blackjack at a casino, the casino doesn't give me dollar bills to bet more blackjack it gives me a free room and a meal so i will continue to bet blackjack. Asking the ADW's to give money back is only possible because they have such a sweet deal going in that they get the lion's share of revenue for a product they don't create (Though you all hate Pope, there is no other business that follows that model, not even Itunes [.10 to band, .65 to recording industry, .35 to itunes). They take advantage of a broken system and pass on that advantage to the player so that you're on their side. If more money went back to the place putting on the show (and nothing is guaranteed) maybe you'd get a better show and a lower take out. Just because the ADW's offer rebates doesn't mean that they aren't screwing you.
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:57 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by machine
If more money went back to the place putting on the show (and nothing is guaranteed) maybe you'd get a better show and a lower take out. Just because the ADW's offer rebates doesn't mean that they aren't screwing you.
If HANA advocated giving the tracks more cash from ADW we would get hung on a tree. Players have been getting screwed by racetracks for so long they would have a right to hang us from a tree. ITP alone, would blow up HANA, along with half the membership. Racetracks will not, and never have, given players a fair shake. They have had 100 years to do it.

We had a push to get Chick's ADW write up early on (see his bare bones write up on the last page, as well as Roark's I posted on page one). We then pushed it again during the Fred Pope thing on Paulick. It was published and not picked up by anyone in the media. We wrote up our idea and asked Ray if we could post our piece via ADW changes and he had a busy week and did not wish to run with it. It got little play from membership and did not seem to capture the imagination of anyone. It is an important point and I do not disagree that it is not optimum by any stretch, but members, the media and anyone that could help us grow met it with a yawn. We had to move on to something else at that point.

As John asked above, if you are passionate about this issue Chick is as well. If you guys write something up and it makes sense to everyone we will be happy to run with it again to see if it gains a following.

As for a "better " split, we have that here in Canada through HPIbets across the nation. Purses get about 9% of rake, the track gets 9% and the rest pays for other stuff for ADW. Rebates are pretty much zero, players look to offshore and have left and are leaving it in droves, wagering is down and the service is struggling. If you bet about 100k though, you do get a nice sweater with the points.

Last edited by DeanT; 07-15-2009 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:10 AM   #38
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Can anyone tell me if it's at all possible (legal) to have a non profit ADW for HANA members only? Can you imagine the increase in membership?

Wouldn't HANA's status as a non profit afford them special rights and operational monetary discounts that all non profits enjoy?

How could an ADW that was not for profit benefit by a non profit status?

Legally speaking, could anyone stop something like this from being done given that HANA in a not for profit membership?

Would working towards the non profit end shake things up a little in the industry?

Please keep in mind that I'm not as detail oriented as most of you but I believe there is some wiggle room here. Just moving in that direction would force some of these ADW's to wake up right?

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Old 07-15-2009, 11:11 AM   #39
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I'm a big believer that most people if involved as a sport first move to wanting to wager on it. Is the Super Bowl popular because people wager on it, or do people wager on it because it's so popular?
************************
If there was no betting on football, I'm sure that popularity would drop significantly. The reason many people watch football is because one person or more bets it, throws parties, their spouse and friends have no choice but to get into football if they want to spend Sundays with that person, and then they become fans too, and many start betting as well.

So, I don't believe takeout should depend on either, there is a level that is optimal for everyone.
*********************
Just because some people become fans first and some become bettors first, doesn't mean that the overwhelming support doesn't come from one, and I say it is the bettor.


Furthermore, If I bet blackjack at a casino, the casino doesn't give me dollar bills to bet more blackjack it gives me a free room and a meal so i will continue to bet blackjack.
**********************
Online poker gives rakebacks. Blackjack take is low enough, I'm surprised the casinos have been giving material rebates for such a long time on top of that. Maybe they know something the racing execs don't.

Asking the ADW's to give money back is only possible because they have such a sweet deal going in that they get the lion's share of revenue for a product they don't create (Though you all hate Pope, there is no other business that follows that model, not even Itunes [.10 to band, .65 to recording industry, .35 to itunes). They take advantage of a broken system and pass on that advantage to the player so that you're on their side.
***************************
ADWs are the closest thing racing has to the free market.

If more money went back to the place putting on the show (and nothing is guaranteed) maybe you'd get a better show and a lower take out.
**************************
Racetracks and horsemen used to get all the pie before simulcasting and the internet and phone betting. What did they do? They gradually raised takeouts.
Woodbine is as close to a monopoly as there is in racing and just look at their takeouts. Philly and Penn are getting a huge subsidy (or at least they were) and their takeouts on triactors are 30 and 31%
********************************


Just because the ADW's offer rebates doesn't mean that they aren't screwing you.
***********************
How are they screwing anyone?
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:40 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andymays
Can anyone tell me if it's at all possible (legal) to have a non profit ADW for HANA members only? Can you imagine the increase in membership?

Wouldn't HANA's status as a non profit afford them special rights and operational monetary discounts that all non profits enjoy?

How could an ADW that was not for profit benefit by a non profit status?

Legally speaking, could anyone stop something like this from being done given that HANA in a not for profit membership?

Would working towards the non profit end shake things up a little in the industry?

Please keep in mind that I'm not as detail oriented as most of you but I believe there is some wiggle room here. Just moving in that direction would force some of these ADW's to wake up right?

At best, the IRS would charge UBIT (Unrelated Business Income Tax) on ADW revenue, it would not be tax-free, and at worst you lose exempt status and become categorized as a for profit entity. You may not think its unrelated business income but an ADW has nothing to do with being an advocacy group.
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:47 PM   #41
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At best, the IRS would charge UBIT (Unrelated Business Income Tax) on ADW revenue, it would not be tax-free, and at worst you lose exempt status and become categorized as a for profit entity. You may not think its unrelated business income but an ADW has nothing to do with being an advocacy group.
Can't you have a non profit with a for profit subsidiary? Something similar to what is done in the insurance industry.


I'm talking about only charging enough to pay expenses as a service to HANA members. HANA members would bet at a discounted rate!???? or would get some type of rebate.

I know rebates are a touchy subject in certain areas but when you are a non profit don't you have some wiggle room according to the IRS to give back some of the profit to the members?
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:47 PM   #42
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I forgot to add that in addition to the restrictions I mentioned above (because you could start a for profit arm if you really wanted to, much like the Jockey Club has with entities like Equibase) I think it would be a big mistake for HANA to get into the ADW business, especially at this point in its existence. Now maybe 5 to 10 years down the road when its a sizable mature company and looking to expand its revenue flows and has the stability and also individuals with the necessary experience to give such an endeavor a reasonable chance of success and most importantly, had accrued a substantial capital base in which to operate (and make no bones about it, you need serious capital to run an ADW and be able to pay people instantaneously upon hitting a big score), not to mention the legislative clout to get through the red tape of some racing jurisdictions, then maybe it would be something to look into. Any move to do such prior to what I listed above would be sheer folly.
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:49 PM   #43
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I forgot to add that in addition to the restrictions I mentioned above (because you could start a for profit arm if you really wanted to, much like the Jockey Club has with entities like Equibase) I think it would be a big mistake for HANA to get into the ADW business, especially at this point in its existence. Now maybe 5 to 10 years down the road when its a sizable mature company and looking to expand its revenue flows and has the stability and also individuals with the necessary experience to give such an endeavor a reasonable chance of success and most importantly, had accrued a substantial capital base in which to operate (and make no bones about it, you need serious capital to run an ADW and be able to pay people instantaneously upon hitting a big score), not to mention the legislative clout to get through the red tape of some racing jurisdictions, then maybe it would be something to look into. Any move to do such prior to what I listed above would be sheer folly.

I'll take your word for it. You would know better than me!
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:51 PM   #44
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If a racetrack is rewarded more for taking bets than for putting on said races any smart business man would focus on taking bets over putting on races. It's parallel to the racinos who now want to give less money to the purses from the slots (because the slots make money the races don't). Because of this upside down business venture the State gets involved to make sure tracks don't do just that (screw the horseman, race 5 days a year and pocket the money). So the argument leads to MORE state involvement to make sure things are "fair" which they obviously are not.

If you wish to argue those in charge of racetracks are idiots and wouldn't know what to do with a bottle opener if you gave them a bottle I'm with you. And again leads to the point HANA needs a platform of what a track should do w/ it's takeout (clean up the back stretch, pay for vets, insurance for jockeys etc etc), but doesn't mean that you should hop in bed with the person giving you kickbacks.

Arguing for those taking the bets getting more money at the expense of those putting on the race is foolish and probably hinders getting a seat at the table. From the outside it appears you don't have a need for tracks. They are the bad guys and they should be happy with what they get. Yeah, you'd have a hard time getting in anywhere w/ that attitude. In my opinion a platform outlining what HANA believes would be the most fair system should be written down somewhere. First, so we know that those on the board are truly "representing" us, and 2nd so we know what we're signing up for.

You have a choice in a platform, admit the system sucks and here's some things that will make it bearable for horseplayers OR admit the system sucks and put together what a good system looks like for everyone benefit.
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:53 PM   #45
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I'll take your word for it. You would know better than me!
If it makes you feel any better, a HANA Board member did bring up your idea at one of our weekly Board meetings before being shot down so you are in good company.
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