Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Here's what he had to say:
"The increase is certainly frustrating for me personally as I've always tried to bet as much as possible at Churchill because my net cost of a wager was reasonable. Now the percentages tell me I have to slash my handle there.
The takeout hike also frustrates me from an industry standpoint because I think in the long term everyone involved makes less not more. Any reasonable observer knows moves like this mean fewer players betting less money in the long run and what industry can prosper by discouraging and/or eliminating it's core customers? It's a shortsighted money grab by CDI and shows a total lack of understanding of the elasticity of betting handle by the horsemen groups who were sold this idea as a long term solution. You would think by now the horsemen groups would do more due diligence before buying Churchill's pick-up line.
Now we must hope that in the long term best interest of Kentucky racing the Ky Racing Commission will adjust the regulation to require Keeneland and Churchill to operate under the previous takeout limits. And given the strong influence that Churchill routinely exhibits over the racing commission which is charged with regulating them, I am not optimistic.
Meanwhile, in the world where the laws of economics still matter, the horseplayer's highest rated track Keeneland, immediately announces no increase to their takeout rates and small but growing Kentucky Downs continues to lower takeout far below the max rates available."
We'll try to share more gambling economics, player reaction and otherwise here on the blog this week and next.
Monday, April 14, 2014
Tonight we stumbled upon what we might call an outside view while surfing on twitter. We saw a gentleman with over 10,000 followers speaking about horse racing, and we were surprised, because we've never seen him before.
Chris Andrews, from his bio, booked his first bet as a fifth grader. Through high school Andrews and his cohorts continued booking bets and operating card games. Andrews paid his own way through college, hustling bets and making book to fund his education. After graduating cum laude from Robert Morris College, Andrews came west to Las Vegas. The next two years were spent at two of Las Vegas’ legendary sportsbooks, the Stardust and Barbary Coast, where he learned the old Nevada method of being a bookmaker. He took the knowledge from that experience and at twenty five was hired by Club Cal Neva. He turned the tiny Reno sportsbook into one of the biggest and most successful sportsbook in Nevada.
Chris, and his "cohorts" are exactly the people racing tries to reach. There's gold in them hills, because these are the players with a bankroll who like betting - racing included.
Chris's view of Churchill's decision to raise the juice is not unlike many horse racing gamblers, but it is a different view.
"One reason circulated by those who think they know but don’t, is young bettors don’t have the patience to read all the data in the racing form.
That’s a complete load of crap.
Young sports fans, whether they are bettors or merely fans, have taken analytics to a level unimagined a generation ago. It started with baseball, and then evolved to football and basketball. Now even hockey has metrics that were unheard of a few seasons ago. Unfortunately, the first thing these potential horse bettors analyze is the percentage they have to overcome to be profitable.
To win at football, basketball or hockey, it’s about 4.5%. Baseball is about half that. When they see horse racing’s house edge is north of 17.5% it’s an easy and logical decision they make to concentrate on other wagering options.
They probably have heard the horseplayers’ prayer. You know, it goes “Dear Lord, please let me break even today. I could use the money.”
"Churchill Downs Incorporated announced they were increasing their pari-mutuel takeout from 16% to 17.5% on win, place and show bets, and from 19% to 22% on exotics.
Stupid, stupid, stupid."
Horse racing wants to attract sports gamblers and others who enjoy the pursuit of catching a winner and making a little bit of money. If Chris's article is indicative of those people, Churchill Downs is not helping the cause.
To read Chris's article in full, at againstthenumber.com, it's right here.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Horseplayers Association of North America’s Annual Track Rankings: Updated 2014 Data Released, Churchill Downs Plummets
(Charlottesville, VA, April 12th, 2014): The Horseplayers Association of North America has re-released their 2014 Track Ratings.
“Although we normally release the ratings only once in April, and then update new numbers on our master sheet on our website as we crowdsource, we felt it very important to update the final ratings this year," said HANA President Jeff Platt. "The recent increase in Churchill takeouts – win takeout up from 16% to 17.5% and exotic takeout up from 19% to 22%, as reported in the Courier Journal – needed to be reflected as a service to horseplayers.”
Churchill Downs, which originally ranked 5th, fell to 22nd in the 2014 ratings. Other Kentucky racetracks like Keeneland (1st), Kentucky Downs (2nd) and Turfway Park (9th) all cracked the new top ten.
The HANA Racetrack Ratings are based on an algorithm using factors which are indicative of horseplayer betting value, gleaned from both empirical and academic study. Key factors including takeout rate, field size, wager variety, pool size, and signal distribution are compared track to track, weighted, and a final composite score is given. Horseplayer and Industry Analyst Mike Dorr, a graduate of Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management supervised this years algorithm.
For full Ratings coverage including statistics, analysis, interviews, and a list of all tracks please visit, “Horseplayer Monthly” here: http://www.horseplayersassociation.org/hanamonthly.html
The master sheet has also been updated and it's available here. http://www.horseplayersassociation.org/hanatrackratingsbyoverallscore2014.html
The Horseplayers Association of North America is a grassroots group of horseplayers who are not affiliated with any industry organization. HANA hopes, through proactive change on several key issues (including but not limited to), open signal access, lower effective takeouts, affordable data and customer appreciation, the industry’s handle losses can be reversed. HANA is made up of over 2,500 horseplayers.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Twitter world blowing up about the Churchill Downs increase in takeout. Just search Churchill Downs and you will see the response.— Scott Raymond (@onehorsestable) April 10, 2014
Horseplayers may disagree about surfaces & the PETA video, but they close ranks when nitwit racetracks raise takeout.— Nick Kling (@docfonda) April 10, 2014
Some preliminary math tells me it's possible that the Churchill Sept meet allowed avg on-track handle to drop enough to raise takeout— Mike Dorr (@mikedorr77) April 11, 2014
It's also why @DerbyMedia released fall meet numbers publicly when they had not done so in the past. KY law was meant to be gamed.— Mike Dorr (@mikedorr77) April 11, 2014
William Carstanjen, president and COO of Churchill Downs was paid $9,872,214 in compensation for 2013. pic.twitter.com/Yt83M9pbyA— jack white (@boycottracefive) April 10, 2014
It's official: @ChurchillDowns raises takeout. In this environment, bad move IMO. But what else is new in this industry?— Art Wilson (@Sham73) April 10, 2014
If CDI wants to divest itself of racing, a 1 1/4 mile race on Keeneland dirt could aptly be named the Kentucky Derby.— Dan Needham (@thorotrends) April 11, 2014
We think its time for cos. who are more worried about casino revenue to leave the racetracks to those who want to run them & grow the sport.— HANA (@HplayersAssnNA) April 10, 2014
Churchill raising takeouts, following a business model that has failed over and over. #playerboycott— seth rosenfeld (@sethlrose) April 10, 2014
As a reminder, in CA the hike brought a 5% reduction in purses to 130M. The legislature said purses would be "over $200M."— Pullthepocket (@Pullthepocket) April 10, 2014
Just closed my @TwinSpires account. For horse racing to thrive, takeout needs to be lowered, not raised.— Pete Denk (@petedenk) April 10, 2014
Churchill Downs Inc Executive compensation $27,920,907 in 2013. And they're coming after you. http://t.co/675XjGSf0X— HANA (@HplayersAssnNA) April 10, 2014
It's all about how much cash Churchill Downs Inc. can rake in on Derby day. Everyday horseplayers be damned.— Brian Zipse (@Zipseatthetrack) April 10, 2014
Read the HANA Horseplayer Monthly and look at the difference between Corey Johnsen/Kentucky Downs' attitude & CDI's. Same state, night & day— Greg Reinhart (@GregReinhart) April 10, 2014
Churchill also was responsible for stopping Kentucky Downs plans for more dates + host-track status dates http://t.co/ATDn3bjDTE— Al Gobbi (@polarcritter) April 11, 2014
The field of organizations to lead Thoroughbred racing out of the dark ages has been whittled down. Please scratch Churchill Downs, Inc.— Dan Needham (@thorotrends) April 10, 2014
@JerseyTom CDI found a way to stick it to the legislators. No casino, new ADW tax so make customer pay now KTDF loophole closed by Frankfort— Craig Brogden (@machmerhallfarm) April 10, 2014
If I am a competitor of @ChurchillDowns I would go on a media blitz to reach all players. Business is there for the taking! Separation time.— Donald Harris (@ClockerDH) April 10, 2014
We're redoing the 2014 track ratings and will issue a new release, now that Churchill has hiked takeout. We hope the industry runs them.— HANA (@HplayersAssnNA) April 10, 2014
Churchill downs, looking to chase away customers, raises takeout on horseplayers by 16%. pic.twitter.com/7PHbuiPtJ5— jack white (@boycottracefive) April 10, 2014
Love the decision by @ChurchillDowns to raise the takeout...Much easier for me to win...Only morons will be still betting & running company— Inside The Pylons (@InsideThePylons) April 10, 2014
Its just a shame Kentucky law limits the maximum takeout rate according to the Courier article logic; take 100% and purses go to the mooon!— Caroline Marie (@CarolineMBetts) April 10, 2014
My goodness, CDI is ruthless. Those horsemen groups warned people about them.— Pullthepocket (@Pullthepocket) April 10, 2014
My rational response to decision. @ChurchillDowns does not care about long term growth of the game. They will not see any of my cash again.— Donald Harris (@ClockerDH) April 10, 2014
Here is a suggestion to racetracks instead of raising takeout, how about stop giving away so much purse money on crappy, unbettable races.— Craig Milkowski (@TimeformUSfigs) April 10, 2014
Churchill Downs to take more from each bet http://t.co/NWfjXu4bvB Exactas from 19% to 22%! Will refrain from commenting til I calm down.— Michael Dempsey (@turfnsport) April 10, 2014
Found: A horseplayer happy with the Churchill Downs takeout hike pic.twitter.com/JgNAYRWQZa— Cangamble (@Cangamble) April 11, 2014
Horseplayers have stood by Churchill through good times and bad, this what we get? #playerboycott— seth rosenfeld (@sethlrose) April 10, 2014
@ChurchillDowns raises takeout to the max allowable. Prepare for pay toilets at the Kentucky Derby.— joe f (@b1joe) April 10, 2014
This is the most people we've had on the website and blog since the California boycott was announced.— HANA (@HplayersAssnNA) April 10, 2014
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
|Discreetly Mine - Melissa Nolan photo|
|Desert Party - Melissa Nolan photo|