CHRB Vice-Chair David Israel:
"Vice Chairman Israel said regarding the takeout increase and the issue of price, “People often say we are competing with the casinos. I think that’s shortsighted and wrong. We’re not competing with casinos. We’re in the entertainment business. We’re competing with the Dodgers and the Giants and the Angels and the Lakers and we’re putting on a show."
Meanwhile - back in reality:
Pew Research did a survey on the popularity of "sports" and what "fans" like.
Horse Racing (not enough responses to make a list): 0.13%
It was beaten by Rodeo/Bull Riding.
Thank god we are not competing with the Dodgers and Giants. If we were, purses would be less than a biggie sized Big Mac meal.
Until this industry finds a way to fund purses from sales of TV deals (we pay networks millions to show our races every year, not the other way around), Zenyatta T-shirts or Todd Pletcher jerseys, from 0.13% of sports watchers, we need to cultivate gambling.
Why? Because bettors pay all the bills for purses.
$2B of revenue comes from gamblers for racing. Other revenue sources are non-existent. Trying to squeeze revenue out of a place there is none, is akin to promoting a Justin Bieber concert in an old age home.
As Gibson Carothers said in his Eclipse Award considered piece, warning racing that they have to concentrate on their real market (gamblers) to grow the sport:
“It’s amazing how many advertisers confuse their real market with the market they would like to have. In all my years in advertising, I can’t recall a client [racing] who was so conflicted about its own product.”
This is alive and well in California and the CHRB, Mr. Carothers.
Note, at the same meeting, the CHRB gives us another head scratcher:
· The racing commissioners voted unanimously to “have the will of the Board conveyed to the Governor’s Office that California Horse Racing Board critical contractors (i.e. stewards, veterinarians and other contract personnel) receive compensation for services rendered from monies received from the wagering public to ensure the continuation of horse racing in California .” Chairman Brackpool explained that even though CHRB operations are funded by the industry, not the State General Fund, CHRB contractors have been ordered included in the general non-payment order for contractors during the budget impasse. CHRB Executive Director Kirk Breed was instructed to convey to the Administration the Board’s desire to pay its contractors immediately.
Comment (from Rich at Paceadvantage.com): Does this mean that the stewards, vets, etc. work for the horseplayers? If we're paying the bill for them out of our bets the we should have more say about the "who, what, where and when" of their behavior and stop being told to "sit down and shut up" when we raise issues about the same?