Wednesday, July 8, 2009
HANA Newsletter VOL 3 - Summer 2009
HANANews Summer 2009
In this Edition of HANANews............
* HANA Welcomes Mike Maloney to the Board
* HANA Meets With Equibase
* HANA Represents Horseplayers at the Gaming Summit
* HANA Pool Parties are on the Rise; Ross Starts Handletalks
* HANA’s Website Breaks Traffic Records
* HANA Player Resources Page Up and Active
* Arizona Horseplayers..... Let's Get Going!
* How You Can Get Involved and Help!
* Checklist Items and Where to go Next
For a web copy of this, please visit our blog at http://blog.horseplayersassociation.org/
To come (and we are always looking for help with this!)............ The ADW Ratings ........... HANA on Pool Integrity.......... and more!
First off, a big thank you to all of the new members who have signed up. The past three months at HANA has seen our membership grow by almost 100%. We currently have over 1250 members, and you represent a fantastic cross-section of bettors, owners, and fans. We could not be happier with our progress and we can not thank you enough!
Mike Maloney Appointed Vice President of Regulatory Affairs
In early May, after meeting and discussing many horseplayer issues at HANA Day at Keeneland, Mike Maloney of Lexington Kentucky was added to the Board of Directors. Mike has been an owner, horseplayer and passionate race fan for many years, and has represented horseplayers at industry conferences and meetings. Mike’s passion, as witnessed by his presentation to the Arizona Symposium on Racing and Gaming in 2007 where he relayed the incidents of past posting at Fair Grounds to racing executives, is wagering security. Not long after he joined the board, he noticed that past posting incidents were still occurring and he made public a recent Hollywood Park race which was closed after the bell. Mike wrote a blog piece on the subject, which was in turn picked up by Ray Paulick of the Paulick Report. The wheels were then set in motion and the industry had, for perhaps the first time, to respond to horseplayers. It was an auspicious debut for Mike as a HANA Vice President.
In addition, Mike presented at the RCI Conference at Lexington, on many of the same issues. If you would like to drop Mike a line, please do. He can be reached at Mike@Hanaweb.org.
HANA Meets With Equibase..... and Works on Issues
Jeff Platt and crew had a long session of meetings with Equibase management in Lexington. From Jeff via our blog: “I met with Hank Zeitlin - President and CEO of Equibase. Hank was kind enough to sit down and talk with us - and then introduce us around and give us a tour of the IT Center. I never before realized that Equibase was part of the Jockey Club and just how much they do. One thing we did do was start a dialogue about one area where (my opinion) the industry could do a better job of disseminating information to players. We are working away on that and hope to have some more information available later in the summer on any progress we make."
HANA Represents Bettors at the Canadian Gaming Summit
In late April, HANA represented horseplayers on issues at the Gaming Summit in Windsor, Ontario. HANA was asked to be on two panels: “The Future of Wagering” where horseplayer issues were discussed on how to make wagering fresher and more relevant in the future. The second panel was on Fixed Odds Wagering and HANA presented that late odds drops are killing horseplayers where they can not use their odds line, and are not confident in the integrity of the pools. Fixed odds wagering is something that should be looked at by the business, if they are unwilling to fix outdated tote technology. On the same panel, from England was Mark Davies, Managing Director of Betfair. After the presentation, HANA met with Mark and discussed the issues. In addition to fixed odds wagering, we discussed Betfair’s acquisition of TVG and relayed several horseplayer concerns regarding high takeout and the wagering fee at TVG. Mark immediately put us in touch with TVG President Gerard Cunningham and he has agreed to meet with HANA. We will keep everyone posted, and if you have any concerns or questions for TVG, please email us at info@Hanaweb.org and we will be sure to address your questions with TVG for you.
Jumping Into the Pool with HANA!
Ross Gallo and Mike Mayo put forth the idea of a weekly betting race, hopeful that a pool of money can be moved each week so horseplayers get a seat at the table, and are noticed. A noble idea indeed and we have been working it for two months now. We have had some success, and we thank everyone who has participated.
If you would like to be a part of the management and direction of the Pool Parties you are very welcome to. We have a good bunch of guys and gals who chat about the race at http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/handletalks/ . All you have to do is join, so please do!
For background on the pool parties, please click this link. http://blog.horseplayersassociation.org/20...d-we-stand.html
And each week please check the blog. We have free PP’s, thorograph sheets and much more for the race. We thank everyone who has helped (you know who you are and we appreciate it!!!!).
HANA’s Presence is Growing!
It has taken some time but we are very pleased that the website and blog have both achieved traffic records. The interest from major media for your group has been pretty stout. We have been linked, or are linked at pretty much every major racing website, both thoroughbred and standardbred, and even mentioned on the AP wire and in newspapers. This has helped tremendously. As you all know, we have very little money and do not charge a membership fee, so free media is what we use to get noticed. If you have not passed around the HANA links, please do. We need your help.
Media has been solid for the last quarter. We have had a feature in a harness magazine, been interviewed on Trot Radio (another harness site), and have been interviewed live on TVG (click below to watch Jeff’s interview). In addition we were very pleased that John Pricci interviewed us for his fine website Horse Race Insider. Visit John and tell him thanks!
Player Resource Page
HANA’s Resource Page is now active. We are really pleased (thanks Bill for working your butt off on this!) to have a comprehensive sortable spreadsheet of a North American track list. You can see and sort takeouts at all tracks by wager and much, much more on this page. If you are interested, please click here. http://www.horseplayersassociation.org/playerresources.html
Arizona Here We Come
Recently Greg "Boomer" Wry has been rehired as both track announcer and director of racing at Yavapai Downs. Boomer is a HANA member and we could not be happier for him, and for horseplayers. Last week his boss, Gary Striker, extended an invitation for HANA to do a day at the races - date to be determined.
However, Jeff just got off the phone with Boomer and it looks like the dates are now set. We'll be doing a two day event: Sat August 8, 2009 and Sun August 9, 2009. Yavapai has promised us a room in the clubhouse and a nice spread buffet free to HANA members on those dates. There'll also be a cash bar for those who want to cut loose a little.
While there, in addition to doing a member sign up drive - HANA will be meeting with track management from YAV and TUP as well as key decision makers from the AZ horsemen, faculty and students from the U of A Racetrack Industry Program, and (hopefully) members of the AZ Racing Commission.
Want to be part of this? HANA's goal is to get everybody on the same page - We want to see horseplayers in AZ get full support from Arizona's racing industry and together do a grass roots campaign to get Arizona's ADW law changed (the law which makes taking bets over the Internet in Arizona a felony). Right now there are only 27 HANA members who reside in AZ. By the end of this summer we'll need to see several hundred new AZ HANA members if we are to have any chance of convincing state lawmakers and regulators to effect change in the one state where it's needed the most.
If you want positive change for racing this is a golden opportunity. Please join us should you be in the area and please pass along this message to any horseplayers you know in Arizona and get them to sign up for HANA.
Want to Get Involved and Help?
Recently we had a long discussion with several members regarding our contact information. How to get in touch with us, get involved in whatever issue you are passionate about, or just to say hello with a comment or suggestion is encouraged. We get loads of email, and have had many meetings with members who are interested, and we want to encourage that as we need the synergy of members to grow. Here is a full list of places that we can be contacted. We look forward to hearing from you! Currently we are looking for volunteers for a number of things: Web help, data gathering (eg helping with the ADW ratings), blog writing, and much more.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, info@Hanaweb.org or any of our first names followed by @Hanaweb.org
Handletalks Chat Group http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/handletalks/
Paceadvantage HANA Chat Board
In addition to that (and the previously mentioned Arizona weekend) you can meet up live with Jeff and Theresia this weekend at Hollywood Park if you are in the area and planning to go. Just shoot them an email!
For the past six months HANA has a checklist of the following items which we have pursued, and there are a few thrown in which we have planned. We thank everyone that gave us the time, and thank board members who attended these meetings.
We have met with the Keeneland board of directors.
We have met with Equibase.
We have spoken in front of the Racing Commissioners panel on wagering integrity. We are also working closely with Kentucky racing on various issues as a player representative.
We have presented on two topics at a recent wagering conference: the future of wagering and lower takeouts and new forms of betting.
We have met with the Managing Director of Betfair.
A board member has met and spoken to the President of Youbet regarding signals.
A board member has met with the TOC regarding rebates, lower takeout and signals.
A board member has met with the President of Hollywood Park.
We have been represented at the CHRB meetings regarding takeout hikes and rebates (they wanted to raise takeout in March, and we hope our letters made a difference).
We have a meeting scheduled to hopefully commence with TVG
We tentatively will be meeting with Woodbine Entertainment.
We thank everyone for their time and support.
Please visit us at our blog. We update that daily and we love your feedback. We hope to have member polls (thanks to a member who donated his time for helping out with that ) sometime very soon.
Thanks again to everyone for reading, and good luck and good racing. We’ll see you in the fall.
Your HANA Team
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Thanks again to all who have purchased pins and apparel.