We race 52,000 races a year in North America. Handle per race is around $250,000 and average purse per race is $18,000. Japan races 18,000 races, per race handle is $1.5 million and the average purse is $40,000.
In other words, Jeremy Plonk is on to something.
Players would love to play in 1.4M pools. Horseman are currently after more for purses, because average purse levels are too low. Race less and win? What do you think?
From the article:
Those tied to horse racing almost universally agree that there's too much racing. Not enough healthy and sound horses, not enough fans, not enough oomph in the gas tank to fuel the show. I don't pretend to have the magic wand, but I do know enough about the racing landscape to put pen to paper and start the thought process.
Racing desperately needs to trim the excess.
Too many racetrack executives are narrow-minded and worried about the wrong things. They fear moving traditional schedules that might upset their on-track fan base. But the reality is that 85 percent of their betting handle comes from fans off-track. While they scratch and claw to lay claim to those popcorn and parking receipts, they fail to embrace the low-overhead, solid return they get in the simulcasting game.
Further, horsemen simply don't want to budge. Whether we're talking finances, drug policies or race days, horsemen remain a group firmly against change. They love long race meetings with short fields, reducing travel expenses and increasing their chance to pick up a piece of the purse with few rivals in the starting gate. They assume the game will always be here and that what provides their benefit trumps the fact that it's a death knell for the track operators and fans.
Read more at the link. This is on the heels of the last Plonk item on ESPN about the ADW crisis. Check that one out too if you have not and are interested.