Horseplayers Association Encouraged with California ADW Deal. Calls For a Settlement in Current ADW Disputes Until An Internet Wagering Plan is Formed
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Charlottesville, Virginia. November 25, 2008): In a press release dated November 9th, 2008, HANA asked the industry to come to a compromise regarding the California ADW fight. The Horseplayers Association of North America is encouraged that industry stakeholders have reached a one year agreement and the signal is no longer being withheld.
However, there still are ADW issues that have yet to be resolved. HANA is asking the Industry to settle these outstanding ADW disputes, with a similar one-year deal as in California, to allow for two things: 1) For fans to have access to these tracks should they want to play them and 2) To allow the Industry to form an Internet Wagering Plan for the long-term health of the sport.
"On Friday the ongoing fight over ADW revenue in Ohio resulted in a massive reduction of racing days further crippling thoroughbred racing in the state. In addition, continuing ADW disputes in Florida and Kentucky remain at a stalemate. In fact, The Bloodhorse reported today that stakes are being cut at Calder and wagering has fallen over 30% in 2008. The adoption of a similar one-year agreement in those jurisdictions is the first step to achieving progress by constructing and implementing an optimal agreement." says HANA President Jeff Platt.
HANA believes that the Internet medium is not being handled in a proper way to maximize its reach and revenue capabilities for the 21st century and it is about time we met the challenge head-on with a long-term action plan.
"We are not being smart," said Platt. "It's 2008. People know about the Internet. They want easy access, convenience, and lower prices. Companies like EBay, Amazon, and E-Trade figured it out and have boomed as a result. Anybody can buy or sell 1000 shares of stock for just eight bucks - at home before picking up the kids at daycare. We buy stuff on EBay for pennies on the dollar in commission. We buy books at a discount prices with free shipping in the middle of the night at sites like Amazon."
HANA believes racing has lagged too far behind.
"Racing is still trying to sell a 100 year old product on the internet at the same exact price it sells for at the track. Worse, racing is trying to use the internet to sell its product to some people in some states under a system of rules written before the internet was even invented. Wagering will not grow on the Internet by itself, the table needs to be set for it to grow." Platt said.
HANA calls for a group of people familiar with either the internet business, online wagering, or both to be part of a newly formed Internet Wagering Task Force. HANA would like to nominate these names for consideration, if they agree to be a part of such a panel:
Will Cummings: Mr. Cummings has detailed many of his findings to the industry before. He has called for better distribution and more flexible pricing for the different sets of racing customers. He would be a good fit to any group because of his 30+ years experience in all forms of gaming.
Halsey Minor: Mr. Minor was formerly with Internet giant CNET and knows a thing or two about an Internet business model.
Joe Riddell: Part owner of ADW Premier Turf Club who is currently trying to keep players onshore by offering Internet prices to price sensitive players through rebates.
Barry Meadow: Long time bettor, author and a member of HANA's advisory board has written much about the subject of online betting, and is familiar with many of the businesses both on and offshore, including betting exchanges that have shaped the Internet landscape.
Dana Parham: Mr. Parham recently spoke at the Arizona Symposium on wagering and echoed similar views to Mr. Cummings and Mr. Riddell.
The UK betting site Betfair was founded in the year 2000, with an Internet wagering plan of lower prices and easy access. In only seven years they have grown from no customers to well over 1 million customers. They currently handle more bets each year than the number of trades on the European stock exchanges combined. Online poker grew with an internet wagering strategy of low prices and easy access, and it has exploded in popularity around the world.
Jeff Platt: "Racing failed to grow handle when it was a monopoly by not formulating a long-term growth plan. That was racing's first chance. We at HANA think racing should not let a rare second chance pass it by. It is our belief that the formation of an Internet Wagering Task Force can result in a solid long term plan essential to the business of racing. We believe such a plan is needed to ensure long-term growth for the industry and reverse its current decline."
HANA would like to publicly thank Mr. Drew Couto and Mr. Jack Liebau for taking the time to listen to HANA during the impasse at Hollywood Park. Their efforts did not go unnoticed. However, we ask for their attention once again and look forward to speaking with them about setting up an actionable Internet Wagering Plan for 2009 and beyond so we can bring our fine sport to a new market and allow it to grow for generations.
Please visit us at Horseplayersassociation.com for further information.
The Horseplayers Association of North America is a grassroots group of horseplayers, not affiliated with any organization, who are not pleased with the direction the game has taken. HANA believes that both tracks and horseman groups have become bogged down with industry infighting and have completely forgotten something: The importance of the customer. HANA hopes, through proactive change on several key issues (including but not limited to), open signal access, lower effective takeouts, affordable data and customer appreciation, the industry's handle losses can be reversed. HANA is currently made up of close to 400 horseplayers (both harness and thoroughbred) from almost all states and Canadian provinces. It currently represents over twenty five million dollars of yearly racing handle.
Members of the HANA advisory board include Barry Meadow, Nick Mordin, Cary Fotias and Dr. William Ziemba.
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