Although the handle bump was linked to two major tracks being canceled, there were still upwards of 20 tracks racing Saturday for players to choose from. Tampa over the last several years has been pretty horseplayer centric, moving takeouts lower and ensuring decent field sizes. Although handle in 2010 has started off poorly across North America, it is nice to see that slowly horseplayers (these things never happen overnight, it takes time) are choosing some tracks like Tampa that are listening.
For our look at Tampa with our piece "Tampa Bay Downs - Lowering Takeout and Trying to Build Their Business" click here.
When put into the proper context, this is huge. Woodbine (excluding BC day in 1996), which gives out about double what Tampa does in purses has not been able to crack 6 million yet (and they only go over 5 million if they have something like the Queen's Plate or another million dollar plus race on the card).
They have a 25.9% takeout rate on tris and supers....They charge the highest host fee of any non-Tracknet track for their signal which severely limits incentives for both professional and recreational bettors.
Would HANA be an ardent supporter of Pocono Downs if they lowered their tri and super takeout to 32% from 35%?
25.9% takeout....a larcenous host fee....both are horrendous for all horseplayers and they keep getting HANA's constant praise.
I just don't understand.
There is one track who has lowered takeout the last four seasons and that was Tampa. They are not perfect and we never have said they were, however, compared to the rest they stand out and we believe this should be pointed out.
We would hope, of course, that they look at cutting the take on their two high takeout bets next year.
I understand they lowered takeout a little but to point out that they stand out and cheer their handle increases with 25.9% rates on tris and supers coupled with the highest independent host fees in the industry is just wrong.
The 25.9% is larcenous and robs all horseplayers. They've raised their host fees MUCH MUCH more than they've lowered their takeout which hurts all horseplayers. It sure seems like a give an inch, take a mile situation.
The other thing that hurts HANA is how can it effectively argue for lower takeout and host fees when they praise a 25.9% and high host fee handle increase?
If/when the CHRB wants to increase takeout on CA thoroughbred races 1% on WPS and 2% on tris and supers and their argument is that TB is having a handle surge with takeouts that are 2% and 5% higher than ours which shows that high takeout doesn't hurt handle. If HANA wants to argue against it, they can't say high takeout rates hurt business....only raising takeout hurts business while showing studies about it instead of the CHRB being able to show that a larcenous takeout rate is showing a handle gain in black and white and that HANA is applauding the gains.
If a track that charges a 3% host fee wants to increase their host fee to 6% on the basis of high host fees don't hurt handle because TB charges 9% and their handle is surging upward. If HANA one day gets around to arguing against outrageous host fees, how can they argue against that?
I guess we look at this different. I'd rather have them with no takeout reductions, getting less handle, no praise, no recognition and less of the horseplayers money, instead of making tiny takeout reductions, charging larcenous takeout rates on tris/supers, charging a horrendously high host fee, getting priase from THE Horseplayer's orginization and taking more money from the horseplayer's pocket than tracks with lower takeout and lower host fees which are much more favorable to the bettor.
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