On the Horse Racing Business Blog (one of the best ones out there on the Business of Racing) Alan F. Balch, Executive Director of the CTT chimes in with a thoughtful piece on pricing, and racing.
On the "2%, or 3%" measuring stick that racing likes to use:
"That makes the takeout on those bets now 22.68% and 23.68% respectively – increases of 9.7% and 14.5%, from the previous takeout on both types of exotics, which was 20.68%. (“Only” two and three points more in the takeout, we are relentlessly reminded as by our grammar school arithmetic teachers, are really a lot more.) "
In regard to the takeout increase and player backlash:
"About the only good thing I can see in this controversy is that a bright light is now shining on a subject that has bothered me for nearly 40 years. Bets on the races are still priced as though we are in the Stone Age. Everywhere, not just in California."
On studying prices and not clinging to age-old monopolistic dogma:
"First, recognize the problem for what it is – fundamental. Second, brainstorm and explore the theoretical and practical opportunities (given the present need of enabling legislation) for flexible takeout. Third, recognize the impact of local, regional, national, and international competition for the gaming, sports, and entertainment dollar, and then use a sophisticated understanding of it to unsparingly inform all potential pricing scenarios."
That's a bravo article. It is all horseplayers are asking for: To move pricing into this century so we can support, market and sell the game we love to friends, family and gamblers of other skill-games; as well as making sure we maximize profits to purses thorough optimal pricing.
The CTT are looking for a foothold in California racing at the expense of the TOC. By speaking about pricing in this fashion (i.e. updating it and studying it in today's gambling world for everyone's benefit) taking them lightly as a CA racing leader is probably not a wise decision.