On John Pricci's blog today he notes how racing is faring compared to many other games.
He is right; but may I add more to his opine. Racing is down, yes, but its players love the game. We are not your normal gambler. We are horseplayers.
We think people that play roulette are fine to do so, but we know that we have that 1 in 37 chance to lose, and will lose. We know that we need to pick over 52% of spread winners in the NFL to win. We'll probably lose.
In racing we have that inescapable bug - the one that brings us back time and time again.
It is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because being a horseplayer is a wonderful thing; a curse because we as horseplayers constantly get taken advantage of because we will not leave.
It is what we at HANA are here for. We want to let the industry know that this is a game one can get hooked on for life. We want to spread the word to other gamblers that they are completely bonkers to watch that wheel spin, or that ball drop. They could be betting the outside late bias at a track in the afternoon, and the inside speed bias on another that evening. We want them to come play, and get hooked too.
But virtually every time we do get someone to play racing, they go home broke. Or they get terrible customer service, or they don't understand why it cost them $20 to play the races, when they get free drinks to watch that mindless ball. When some actually get past their first visit, they wonder why they can't watch free video, or write a program to scrape data off the past performances and build a database, or why they can't play Santa Anita at their internet betting site. If they are still there after all of those roadblocks, they participate in the slow death of trying to beat 21.8% blended takeouts.
Yes, racing is doing better than some other gambling games. But think of how much we'd grow if we removed many of those roadblocks? We might then not be speaking of cutting losses, we would be thinking of spreading the wealth of growth.
Dare to dream; with horseplayer help we might just be able to do some good.
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