On HANA's Mission Statement there is a mention of "better data distribution". Horseplayers pay through the nose for data, past performances, and even results files. Equibase was created for this back in 1990. In 1990 there was no Internet; no way to cut costs, and no way to offer this more cheaply. After all, being the sole source of legal gambling, if people wanted to play racing you must pay. Now with choice, and a better delivery of PP's and data, we think there has to be a better way. Especially, as we all know, putting up a PP on a PDF costs a fraction of what it costs to set it, print it, deliver it by truck and plane, and sell it at a track. But the price is not dissimilar to the old newsstand price of old.
It is not 1990 any more.
Ray Paulick explores this in a piece today. It is nice to see it is no longer just the odd fan and blogger speaking about this, it is influential people like Ray. And not only Ray; people inside the business are starting to think this as well.
“It is symptomatic of our industry being a step behind,” said one racing executive who has grown wary of Equibase’s profit-driven motive and thinks the company has strayed from its original mission. “It’s short-term thinking. If our objective in racing is for the horseplayers to win, we should do everything we can to help him, and increase the churn. That’s where the revenue for our business should come from, not from the statistics the horseplayer needs.”
We at HANA agree of course. As we have said earlier on this subject, 'free' is something we hear about on the Internet quite often. This is not a business model for many things like music, or books, or whatever. There is no monetization of these things - the book or song is the revenue. However, in racing, charging people for this data which can be used to not only bet, but promote the game is something we should have a look at. After all, if we have a PP in front of us and bet $10, at a 22% blended take we have already paid for the past performance, and will turn to race two. There is a correlated link between that and ROI. The free PP is a conduit for the revenue.
We are glad to see people are speaking about it finally. Now, will racing make a move?