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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Walker on Peer to Peer & California Takeout. Cal-Expo Goes Low on Pick 4

A California track lowers takeout on a bet - but it is not a thoroughbred track. Cal Expo announced some ideas to get some bettors and customers to look at them. One of the ideas, which has worked at a few harness ovals, is dropping their pick 4 take to 15%:

"To start off with, we are offering free admission, as well free preferred and general parking after 4:30 p.m. every live harness racing night,” Elliott explained. “Also, for the first time, we are offering a 50-cent Pick 5 on every racing night in the fifth race. Additionally, beginning in September, we are looking at a Guaranteed $10,000 Late Pick 4 on Saturdays, as well as a reduced takeout of 15% on Saturday night Pick 4s.”

Of note, the Meadowlands offers a low pick 6 take at their track (only Kentucky tracks and Gulfstream are lower in all of racing) and they have a $109k carryover, for this Friday's card.

Lastly, Craig Walker at Trackmaster shares what he thinks peer to peer wagering means for racing. Many of his ideas are shared by horseplayers, and those who study wagering economics.

He also makes an educated guess what will happen to California handles, if rumored hikes go through:

As an aside, raising takeout is definitely not a good long term strategy for the racing industry. If California racing decides to implement the rumored increase in takeout, it is sure to have a detrimental effect on wagering handle. The proposed increase is effectively taking away ten percent of a horse player’s current returns. Let’s hope this rumored proposal never comes to fruition. If it does, I believe whatever percentage of decrease in handle California racing would have had next year will at least double due to the takeout rate hike.

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