Thursday, November 13, 2008

Comments Galore!

A little bit ago we made a post about horseplayer comments. When you sign up for HANA there is a comment section where you can share your thoughts, and share you do!

At HANA we are fortunate enough to have players of all sizes sign up and horsepeople too (which we are very grateful to have in a players group!). But do you know what? Their comments are virtually the same.

I used to go to a diner fairly regularly. It's a friendly place. There was a regular who was a high roller (I think a stock broker), and a bit of a jerk I thought, but he spent some good money there. There was another fella who had a courier route. A regular Joe. He would come in and buy a coffee and sit down for a bit. The owner, an older greek man knew how to do business and so did his staff. These two customers were treated identically. He would take care of a bill the odd time, he told me. "They are both good customers"

That is why the comments are similar in so many respects on HANA members who are smaller or bigger players. They both have a common goal: They want to see the game grow and be more popular.

Ditto for rank and file horse owners and horseman. I am a horse owner, as are many HANA members. The costs of this game have gone through the roof! Slots money has added cost inflation (in my and some others opinion) and shipping to take advantage has thrown a ton out of whack. Some of our commenters are big picture thinkers and in line with a HANA goal: Raise handles and we can make this a better sport for everyone from owners to bettors, to feed men, to blacksmiths. We are all on the same side in this: Grow the game!

Here are a smattering of some of the more recent comments:

A smaller player for Pittsburgh says "I grudgingly opened an offshore betting account recently. I know if enough players follow suit that this could have a negative impact on racing. Unfortunately the powers that be in racing could care less about my wagering dollar. Capital will flow to where it is treated the best, a fact sorely lost upon the so-called racing industry leadership."

A larger player from Texas says: "I have been a hobby handicapper since 1988 (NoCal). On my 20th anniversary as a hobby handicapper, I have decided to become a professional handicapper. The track signals to the ADWs must be resolved. It makes no sense to have multiple ADW accounts to play the track of your choice. When I moved to Texas in 1996 from northern California, I was amazed that I could not even sign up to some ADWs (TVG) because I lived in Texas!!! So exclusive TVG tracks are no longer available to me. To play TVG tracks from Texas, I must go offshore. Im sure Im not the only one having this problem. Universal track access by all US-based ADWs is the answer. Thank you for creating an organization that will give a voice to the horse player."

A horseperson from Kentucky says "I breed and race Thoroughbreds in KY for racing. I am tired of owners shipping them all over the place trying to take advantage of better state programs. It takes money out of my budget and makes the rest of the season harder to budget. I breed and race in KY myself also. I am racing one now at Churchill and cannot even bet on my own horse unless I drive 30 miles from N. Lexington to Keeneland. Aside from the fact that the purse of my race has been cut to a pitiful level. My trainer in the last 2 months has shipped horses to PA, IN, IL, WV to break their maidens for more money. I won't do it. My horse has to earn the right to ship like that - Very expensive to do it unless you win. Keep our horses home - Let us bet here and have decent purses. Fix medication rules to be the same everywhere. Fix the ADW!!!! Who is waiting for what to get this done? Cant they just sit down and hack it out?"

We are a diverse group that's for sure and we often read how different sized players and horsepeople are on the issues. I find there is more common ground than not. Issues for horsepeople are too broad to take for HANA, and we are no experts, but with many of us who are owners we feel some major reform needs to be done in ownership, too (especially with costs, but maybe with some sort of revenue sharing through slots, too). Taking money away from ADW and the internet model like we are fighting about is a band-aid, in our opinion, and will not grow the pie. A couple extra points now will not fix this game and will probably result in less revenue later on as the game shrinks. We have to look at growing wagering long-term and controlling our costs to have a vital horse ownership and bettor growth plan, and it seems many members, from all walks of life agree.

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