Friday, January 15, 2010

If a Little Harness Track Can do it

We spoke before here about the Ontario Racing Commission stepping in with signal disputes in that Canadian province. They pretty much said "stop messing with racings customers and get things done."

Well, announced today, a small harness track, in a signal dispute has had their contract extended, so horseplayers can play racing while they work out their differences.

The Hiawatha Horse Park has announced that an agreement has been reached between itself and the Ontario Harness Horse Association in regard to the current simulcasting impasse. Hiawatha has announced that starting Thursday, January 21 the simulcast room will be back up and running.

Hiawatha and OHHA have agreed to extend their existing contract and will continue to discuss a new one that will benefit both the local horseman and the racetrack.

Meanwhile back at the ranch...........

"Tracknet Dispute Taking its Toll" screams a headline on the bloodhorse.

A dispute over signal rates between TrackNet Media Group and 17 racetracks in the Mid-Atlantic region is a primary reason Gulfstream Park’s interstate wagering handle was down about 15% through the first seven days of its 2010 meet

In case one might say "horseplayers have short memories, who cares?" We point you to Tom at Paceadvantage, who seems to remember last years California signal problems well. He had this to pointedly say to California's current handle problems.

"....this is kinda fun to watch them sink - the lousy bastards that shut us all out a while back - now they wonder why no one wants to bet their pathetic excuse of a race track. What goes around, comes around. "

Time will tell if Tracknet is remembered the same way by horseplayers like Tom.


Steve Zorn said...

Churchill Downs Inc. is the big villain here. They're using TrackNet to pile up profits on their ADW, even at the expense of the race tracks that put on the show.

Simple solution: 10-12% takeout, split three ways, track, horsemen and wagering outlet. If CDI can't make money on that, they should get out of the ADW business.

The_Knight_Sky said...

I agree with Steve. Simplification to 10-12% takeout rates on all signals, all the time will go a long way to making it fairer to the host track and the simulcast facilities.

I have not been able to play Gulfstream, Santa Anita, Golden Gate Fields, Laurel all of which are my tracks that I know and follow. But since the blackout I have little idea of what's going on.

When the signal does get reinstated on in the northeast corridor it's going to take several weeks to get the handle back to normal levels. Bettors are fed up or have taken their action to the remaining tracks.

Anonymous said...

This crap is driving me crazy and except for the your blog and a very few drf columns there is very little news.

Oaklawn's opening day all sources handle was down 14% from '09 and that is with better weather and 5,000 more people on the grounds.

Can we get contact info - email, phone #s for the TrackNet and Mid-Atlantc? - Then let the players and fans tell them how they feel.

Should we contact our govt representatives such as: Congressmen/women, Senators, State Officals etc and try to get someone to step up the pressure ie what happened in Ontario?

I feel a need to do something but I don't know what that is - help.

I do know that Hialeah's QH handle must be going up during this dispute.