Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday Action

A few things catching our eye at HANA this Thursday:

First up, there are some new polls at which members might be interested in. Jeff is asking for a cross section of thoughts on takeout, Arizona's ADW law and more. If you are a member of Pace you can vote right here on them.

Second up, a fascinating piece by Cangamble on takeouts. Cangamble, the little buzzsaw he is, went through a bunch of old racing forms via the web, searching for takeout news, and betting news. He uncovered several articles on takeout........ from 1935. The articles showed that youbetcha racing was congnizant that raising them will help the sport. Takeout was around 10% at that time, and it was being raised slowly but surely. There were several people that wanted that stopped. It is an eye-opening piece that shows that handle has not fallen by accident, it was a grand plan of a misguided nature.

Steve Zorn has been researching this and other things. Steve is an insider and he has often been seen banging a lower takeout drum of late. He seems to believe that we do not know what the optimum takeout should be to maximize revenues, but he figures it should be lower. We agree.

He commented on Cangambles piece saying "maybe 10% is the right number." Steve, if you could get takeout across the board set to ten percent for a few years, you would not only be a slam dunk winner for racings commissioner, they will make one of those bronze statues of ya.

Steve's second part of his 'what it will take to fix racing' piece focuses on some pricing thoughts. It's worth the read.

1 comment:

Dennis said...

You cannot even get racing entities in the same jurisdictions to agree; forget across the country. It can take 6 months to a year to get even a small improvement past CEO's and board members to the engineers and programmers. Believe me, I am going through this right now with Youbet. EXCEPT, in Youbet's case, the vice president scheduled an hour with a tech for me to prove my case. After I did, the tech wrote up a proposal. The VP took it to the board who sent it to their engineers for a design proposal to fix the software problems. That proposal has been funded and will soon enter the testing phase of which I will be one key member. This has taken about 9 months and should be completed and online in 2 to 3 months.

The racing industry has been aware of their "problems" for decades and still procrastinate. Doping, cheating, past-posting, tote problems, excessive take/breakage, over charging in areas that should be free, outdated tote/pari-mutual system, etc...

IMHO, Stronach and MEC are showing us racing's future. Most tracks will close as the economy and their own actions drive away fans. When only 3 or 4 tracks are left, they will then be able to escape from the local government mentality and taxation to develop a single body that can then direct all who want to survive to adopt the changes needed.

Complete strict enforcement of no drugs or cheating allowed. Lifetime country-wide bans enforced. NO second chances. Fixed odds or wager exchanges with 5% max takeout on winnings only. No takeout on losses or wagers by winners, just the winnings. Churn will be huge and so will the profits. Tracks should be allowed to acquire full casino licenses as well with the same profit/taxation agreements as other casinos. Not the BS theft by local governments using the tracks future as hostages to steal any and all profit.

Services and handicapping tools will be free or very low cost. Food and drink reasonable.

8 out of 10 tracks must close before the government and management of those left will see that they must stop raping the race fan. There are not too many of us baby boomers left and those who are not dying are quitting. I did. I play poker now and play in 3 or 4 contests a year. 34 years of handicapping and then gave it up cold in 2002 after the pic-6 scandal. See nothing today that tells me I made a wrong choice. Keep my hand in and help where I can, like with this and Youbet. Nothing that costs me money or creates regrets.

Nature will fill the vacuum...