HANA President Jeff Platt, as we have previously reported, as been working the phones with the parties in the ADW dispute. He has placed three articles on the HANA website, speaking a little bit about his interpretations and opinions.
In Part I he speaks of his discussion with the ADW side.
In Part II he speaks of his chat with the horseman side.
In Part III he speaks about how important this issue is, and solving it with an opinion that the long-term view trumps both sides. He uses data from a racing study by an MIT graduate with 30+ years experience in gambling to point out why ADW wagering should follow the business principles it was designed to follow. If it does not, we might be in the exact same spot five years from now fighting about this all over again, but this time with even more handle losses.
The parties involved aren't just going back and forth on numbers for signal and host market fees. Decisions reached in these negotiations are going to have a profound effect on thoroughbred racing well into the future. Whatever final agreement is reached, it should be part of a comprehensive strategy that takes into account the future of the industry.
From what we hear from HANA members, as well as some critical thinkers in this sport, it is not about getting 4% or 9% or 11%, or whatever. It is about growing the sport in 2009 and beyond by reaching a gambling customer who is currently spending his/her money elsewhere, or who might be interested in racing if we offer it to him/her in a new, fresh way. We believe that if E*trade was created on a "fight for a slice" model, rather than an internet model it would not be successful, and we believe the same online stock brokerage model should be used for the ADW system. It is time for racing to become 21st century. This dispute and the future of racing is bigger than the parties, and what's best for the industry as a whole must be the only consideration.
HANA needs your help. The response has been overwhelming the past two weeks. Horseplayers from all walks of life, of all sizes, including small bettors, big bettors, horsepeople and horseowners are all joining us. Please join up if you already have not. Your information on the form is held in confidence, it is free and you can add your name to the list of folks who want to see this industry grow, so we have higher purses, more of a fan base and bring the sport we love to those who are yet to find it.
This week at HANAblog: Watch for Hjack Hillstrom's Part III of "Why I Left Racing", due out sometime late tomorrow. Read Part's I and II at the right if you have not for an interesting read.