..... Racing will die.
So goes the sobering panel at today's Simulcast Conference in Saratoga Springs, New York.
“Participants in the horse industry don’t get it but they’ll learn soon,” said Gural. “The horse industry doesn’t want to do anything to help themselves. The horse industry is very happy to be a welfare recipient. They believe somehow that they are entitled.”
Eugene Christiansen, the Chairman, Christiansen Capital Advisors,, echoed these comments.
"The chances of change are slim to none,” said Christiansen. “Racing as an industry is more resistant to change than anything we’ve ever dealt with. If the fan base can’t be brought back, the sport will die.”
“The fundamental problem is consumer pricing,” he said. “The amount of money taken from bettors is not sustainable."
Eric Johnston, Vice President of Racing, Sam Houston Race Park in Houston, Texas, gave an example of why the business model which gives horsepeople a large percentage of wagering revenues, is counter-productive.
“For years we ran promotions to get people out to the track,” he said. When we analyzed the numbers, we realized we’d have been better off to hand every person a $10 bill at the door and tell them to go home.”
“If the industry fails to reach new customers, 20 years from now, all the lights will go off. This takes wholesale change, competitive pricing, new products and pain for a lot of people, including purse levels that may decrease by 50%.”
Full story at link.