Saturday, November 1, 2008

One Third of Nothing

How's your Hollywood Park handicapping going?

I take it not well.

On Wednesday, the dispute over account wagering finally reached California, and according to the Thoroughbred Owners of California - the group that rescinded its approval for Hollywood Park to send its signal to all four national account-wagering companies just prior to Hollywood opening - it was only a matter of time.

The TOC has been hinting for months that it was ready to jump into an ongoing dispute pitting horsemen against racetracks over the splits of revenue for account wagering. But contractual obligations with account-wagering companies and the TOC's participation in a yearlong experiment designed to increase the distribution of racing signals prevented it from entering the fray.

At the close of the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting on Sunday, the existing contracts expired. As a result, the TOC joined with a number of local horsemen's groups in refusing to approve the distribution of simulcast signals to any major account-wagering platform without a new agreement with a national company that it supports, the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group.

They want more revenue.

The national deal that the TOC and other horsemen's groups are seeking through the THG would give horsemen a one-third share of any wager made though an account-wagering platform. Though the current shares differ widely, most deals give horsemen about one-fifth of the revenue.

Right now they are getting one third of nothing, and with handle going lower and lower, and players getting more and more annoyed, one could surmise that if they do get more of a share, it will be lower than they would have gotten if they didn't start this mess.

In a time when this business is reeling, an argument can be made that they should be putting more money into ADW and the player, not asking for more from them. That makes sense to businessmen and women like you and I who would want to grow our business in tough times, but in racing? Nah, it seems like it is some sort of wild and wacky concept.

A HANA members take on the ADW situation and why taking more money from the player is a bad thing (written last summer):

This model of giving something back to the player and delivering it in a customer-centric way has resulted in a rise in handles for ADW. Up over 17% last year – our only true blue growth segment.

If ADW’s are charged a higher fee, things like free rewards, hats and shirts; or the interesting innovations we have seen like race replays, and conditional wagering and paddock reports can all be cut. This hurts us in attracting new fans to our Internet platform, as well it alienates our existing customers (ask Vegas how they'd do without comps or adding a concert as an attraction; and ask them now what would happen if they took them away!)........

To continue it is here here.

To help this business see the players concerns, and that we matter; and to help them understand that if the fighting continues and if we are not treated properly they will not have a game to argue over, please join us by clicking here to sign up for HANA. It is free and it only takes a couple of minutes. We are growing each day. Please help us continue to grow.


Anonymous said...

I see youbet and all those cos. advertising in Horseplayer Magazine. And they offer rewards and handicapping contests and stuff to grow their business that is good for the player. Is TOC going to pay for all that with their newfound 1/3? Are they going to give back to the player to grow the game when the ADW's pull back funds? Or is the player going to get screwed again.

If they dont like the way things are, why don't they invest a bunch of millions and make an ADW for themselves? I don't understand this. It sounds like greed to me.

Anonymous said...

I'm a casual player who has enjoyed using my ADW account. Over the past few years, it's become more and more useless because of the increasing number of major tracks (Kentucky) that are banned.

It's really simple though. There a lot of competition for my entertainment dollar and time. If I can't enjoy racing, there's other stuff. Especially during football season.

Make it appealing and easy for me to enjoy this sport. Lower the takeouts and cut the crap about the signals.