One of the things HANA has talked about doing is maintaining a set of report cards for the different tracks in the U.S. and Canada. Hopefully this would have 2 benefits: educating players, to hopefully steer them towards friendlier tracks, and to educate the tracks. They need to know what's important to us, and hopefully if they find themselves near the bottom of the list they might think about trying to move up.
Doing this right is a pretty big job. And more so when everyone is going to have slightly different ideas about what should be included, and to what degree. So I imagine this will be somewhat of a constantly evolving process. I think we need to rely on primarily objective factors, at least to start. If we can come up with a way to include some sort of subjective "vote" as a piece of it that we think works well, we can do that too.
Some of the possible (~objective) factors to rank tracks on would be:
For on-track attendees:
"Players Club" of some kind
Average Field Size
Bet Selection (rolling doubles, pick 3s, etc)
For at-home bettors:
Video and Replay Availability
What are some other quantifiable things about a track that are important to you? What are the most important?
I think that for most everyone the top 3 most important factors would be: takeout, ADW availability, and video and replay availability (not necessarily in that order)
Top 3: takeout, ADW availability, video and replay availability (not necessarily in that order)
Ray Baker (raybo)
As an 'At Home' bettor, I would like to see every track that supplies a video feed to other ADWs to also poat it on their website.
My model would be Keeneland. The streaming is excellent, the pools are well done, info is also well done. When you consider that 15 years ago, KEE did not even have a race announcer, this is progress.
Many smaller tracks do nice streaming and you have to consider Fort Erie as a good example of a small track.
I know that replays are beneficial to bettors, but live streaming is good for the ego.
Race tracks have one product. Why hide it?
4.Degree of difficulty to deposit and withdraw funds.
5.Interface (how easy or hard it is to actually make a bet)
Video is the least important thing to me, as I tend to bet on races that are on HPITV, and as long as I can see a replay, I'm happy. Most of my fun comes from picking winners and cashing tickets, not the thrill of the live race so much.
In reading the other comments I realize my interests are very different. I don't bet from home or from OTB's very often; I like to attend live racing. My priorities are good viewing options, good food/beverage options (including being allowed to bring in a cooler), good customer service, adequate access to betting windows/machines, etc. Of course prices, takeout rates and betting options are important (why doesn't every track offer dime supers for every race? They're the best fun- action betting option.) One objective criteria that should be easily evaluated is quality of racing-using average purse, percentage of races that are low level claimers, and/or any other easily quantifiable indicator of quality. As a live racing fan, my favorite track is Keeneland, but I've never been to the West Coast. I look foreward to your report cards as a resource for planning upcoming track vacations. I also would remind folks that if we want to increase handle we should be looking at increasing the fan base, and most people get interested in racing initially via live racing. The new would-be owner of Hialeah has the right idea.
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