Alex Waldrop is correct. 100% correct.
In his new column he relays what he heard this past weekend at the NHC Championship (congrats Brian!) from horseplayers.
- Their message to tracks: Price matters. According to one very knowledgeable race and sports book operator I spoke with in Vegas, they are seeing a steady migration of players from horse racing to sports betting and other gaming. Why? Lower takeout on casino games and sports betting are a big part of the reason.
- Their Safety and integrity matter. If you think the way you treat your horse is a private matter between you and your vet, think again
- Their message to regulators: Be tough but fair in regulating the game. And be consistent.
We at HANA have surveyed horseplayers, written hundreds of blog pieces, attended dozens of meetings. We have conveyed this now for some time.
It is not a me versus you debate, it is an us debate.
We don't want lower takeout because we are greedy - we want lower takeout so we can bet more and encourage others to bet more by saying to new people "you have a shot to beat the races, so come join us".
We don't want safety concerns looked at because we really like to see tracks be regulated. We want safety and integrity because we feel with it we will have a better sport, and if we have a better sport, we can grow.
We don't want drug policy because we are zealots. We want a consistent drug policy because we love horses and want them treated well. We want cheaters to be charged because they hurt the game. We don't want honest horsemen charged and thrown out for making a minor mistake. We want a good policy with teeth to grow the sport of horse racing, for bettors and horse owners. Heck, almost 20% of HANA are horse owners.
Very well done regardless Alex. You summed it up pretty well.