A guest post from two HANA Members for your perusal: Mike Mayo and Ross Gallo.
March 1, 2009
Dear fellow Horseplayer,
A few weeks ago I was driving along and came up with an idea about how we could possibly start to fix this great game we love so much. I will not bore you with details of all of the things that are wrong with our sport. Most all of us, as customers of this game already know the many things that are wrong. Instead, I would like to focus on the positive, which as we all know has NOT been the mood of the industry as of late.
Last weekend at the Horseplayer World Series I had dinner with Ross Gallo (who most all of you know) and Scott Carson of Public Handicapper.com. During our dinner , I conveyed this idea to both of my dinner companions and they seemed very interested. As the evening progressed, I could see my friend Ross, all of the sudden get very excited about this idea. The wheels started really turning in his head. As the weekend progressed, we both continued to discuss this plan and how we could actually make it work. So here goes the idea.
We all know (as horseplayers and customers of the game) the only control we really have is how, where, and when we actually bet our dollars. Many of us have a comfort zone on how much we wager. Individually, most of us do not bet enough to really influence the pool totals at most racetracks. However, if 300, 500, or even 1000 of us got together and collectively bet our money, we could certainly make a noticeable difference. An example would go like this. Each week a race is selected at a certain track during the middle of the week. Our group would bet a predetermined amount of money (say $50-100 per person) into the pool of the selected race. You could bet this money any way you wanted into the pools of that race. You could also bet it from any venue you choose (ADW account, OTB, or at the track itself if that is feasible) just as long as the money went into the pools of that selected race. You can easily do the math here. Let’s say 300 of us bet $100 each into the fourth race at Turfway Park on a Wednesday afternoon. That would be an extra $30,000 that hit their pool and they never saw it coming. The next week we do the same thing at Beulah or Turf Paradise. We start with the small tracks first to be able to track our money and the impact it has. As our numbers grow, we then move to the larger tracks. We envision eventually having 3 to 5 thousand members at some point as this venture grows. That would then allow us to perhaps cut down the amount of our individual wager to perhaps the $25 to $30 range. All of you can see that as a united group we can really make an impact as our very large block of money lands when and where we see fit. As this impact becomes more and more noticeable (to track management, the horseman’s groups, the ADW’s and even some State regulatory agencies) we then begin to have a voice. After all, we (the customers) are the life blood of this industry and our voice can now be heard. We will then be in a position to use our large block of “wagering dollars” to influence some of the decisions that are made in our industry.
As is mentioned previously, it is important that we keep things in a positive light at first. We simply and quietly bet our money each week at the selected track. We do this for several months and follow the results each week. This is easy to do. As our block of dollars grow, track management will certainly start to notice and wonder where this is coming from. What is going on here? At that point we then lay out our plan to track management and other industry leaders. We will then have the data and information to prove the impact we are making. At that point they will have to take notice. It will be fun to see them guess and wonder where our large block of money will land this week. As our block of money grows from 50 to 100 to 500k and hopefully over a million each week, we are making a positive impact on the industry. We also will be helping some of the smaller tracks survive.
Now, let us look at how our group could then use our influence to perhaps help settle some of the many disputes that have become reality over the past year or so. I will use the recent Tracknet Media and Las Vegas signal dispute as an example. We all know the whole dispute started with Tracknet wanting to raise their signal fees to the Vegas hub. They soon realized they need Vegas way more than Vegas needed them. Their handle plummeted as it always seems to do when these types of disputes occur. Now our large block of money and our united group influence enters into the picture. We inform those that we will boycott all tracks involved in the dispute until it is settled. This boycott would not only involve our group dollars but we would ask that you not bet these tracks with your money outside of our group. You can all see what a huge impact this could have. All industry leaders would FINALLY have to pay attention to US, THEIR CUSTOMERS.
You are probably asking yourself what is the catch here. There is absolutely NONE. The only requirement to be a part of this plan is that you agree to provide an email or and have access to a computer. There are no dues or fees. All that is asked is that you bet the selected race each week in the amount determined. That is it. Our plan is to have a website to distribute information and use as a vehicle to contact each of you on a weekly basis. Our goal is start this plan in motion no later than April 1. We obviously need a large participation to get started. If you have received this letter, then we have your current email. We would also ask that you forward this on to as many horseplayer friends that you know. Feedback is always welcome.
We all know the saying “United We Stand”. Let us all get together and take back our sport.
Mike Mayo and Ross Gallo
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