We see East v West in many things in this sport, and have for years, but on doing racings business it is rare to see execs throw a salvo out at other execs.
We all know takeout is going to increase 10-15% in CA (2-3% increase on exotics). We have read cali racing say that they think raising it is a good policy to grow purses.
Horseplayers and many industry watchers let their thoughts be known.
Then we have NYRA Chair Steve Duncker say the opposite on Sunday:
"Duncker noted the blended rates in New York were 15% in 1960, 17% in 1970, and 19.81% in 2010. Over that period, racing has faced growing competition from other forms of gambling that employ takeout rates of 2%-10%.
“What business people in this audience think that’s the way to increase business?” Duncker said. “We’re being priced out of this market. We need to bring the cost of our product down in a competitive market.”
OK, maybe just an aberration, huh? Coincidence?
Just today on CNBC, NYRA Pres Charles Hayward comes out saying the same thing Duncker says, live on camera (click here for video).
When asked about why horse racing is down, he said "in 1960 our takeout was 15% and today its 19.8%. The industry has to look at the financial side and make it a better value proposition. We are taking too much out of the customers pocket. It is not competitive. A reduction of takeout would be more beneficial for us"
This prompted the opposite reaction from players. For example, New York player Ernie Dahlman, who almost never posts on the web said "It is great to hear that NYRA's CEO Charles Hayward "gets" that racing has a problem with excessive takeout. That alone puts him in the upper 1% of racetrack executives."
Our question: What do players think is going on here?