Friday, December 24, 2010

Memo to the Press

There is a poll up on the Paulick Report asking "Do you support the proposed boycott by horseplayer groups of Santa Anita over the increased takeout in California?"

A HANA member took issue with that question and emailed Ray this:

"I believe your poll asks the wrong question. It should read "Do you support raising takeout as being a smart business move for the sport of horseracing". It's not about a boycott, it's about pointing out to the industry that raising takeout is driving the business into the ground. If the industry doesn't wake up they will be back in another 3 or 4 years wanting to raise takeout again due to falling handle from an ever shrinking customer base. We saw an example of this with the Los Alamitos "experiment" earlier this year. Higher pricing is no substitute for competent management. If it were, all the failing businesses in this country could simply raise their prices and everything would be rosy."

We hope that message makes it through - because that is what this is about.

As blog readers and members know. HANA is filled with members from every walk of life in racing - bettors, trainers, owners, grooms, industry watchers - and it includes many California horse owners.

HANA is after one thing and one thing only with this: For our business - one we love and support - to start moving towards pricing that grows the sport of horse racing.

An "Optimal Price Point" is not fancy language: Optimal takeout is simply the price that racing makes the most money - the most handle, the most purses and the most revenue for horse owners, grooms and everyone in this business.

Caroline on the Paulick Report said it best: 'I have done searches on google scholar and not one economic journal says the optimal price racing should charge is higher than it currently is.' That means that when we move pricing away from optimal (i.e. "up" like the CHRB did) we all lose.

Choosing to support or not support a boycott is a personal decision and we all respect that. However, know that you are not boycotting California racing to hurt it, you are boycotting it to save it.

Reference journals on takeout and takeout elasticity, including real world case studies are here, if interested. For further questions on takeout and optimal takeout please email us at, and we will forward them to our Special Advisor on Takeout and Wagering Economics, Cal MacWilliam, Phd, World Bank Economist and horse bettor and owner.


Anonymous said...

Bravo. However, it is very sad horseplayers and a hplayer group are the ones to offer a lesson in wagering economics. But if the tracks who should be doing it ain't..... well who's left?

Phil said...

Ray will keep doing what he has been - unabashed support for CA racing. If they hiked takeout to 50% (btw, why didnt they if the hike is such a great idea - dont stop at a 14% hike, double it!) I think there would be posts there in favor of it.

Keep fighting people. One day the industry will listen to proper economics and grow. One day.


Anonymous said...

Brad Free had a good columun on the takeout,but why no comments from the Players?

Anonymous said...

Whew! You see that all-sources handle today from Santa Anita? 3% drop? I wouldn't worry so much. 12%? I might question it. 23%? Somebody is f'ing up!