Bloodhorse's Tom LaMarra and Tracy Gantz today have taken what might be the most comprehensive look at the state of racing in California. From the power groups to you, the horseplayer, all bases are covered. The article is a must-read for fans of the sport in that state, and beyond.
Via the Bloodhorse, CTHA's Roget Licht:
“So many mistakes have been made by horsemen—ignoring the racetracks, horseplayers, and owners and acting on their own without getting the support of other constituencies,” Licht said. “Are they doing what they believe is in the best interests of racing, or are they acting in what they thought was in the best interests of racing?
“I think the horseplayers are a critical part of the game, and they need to be listened to. Studies are in accord with what (HANA) says. You can’t just raise prices and figure the customers are stupid. California guys are at the forefront, and may be more educated (on the issues), but what’s going on is this: They are an important voice to listen to.”
HANA President Jeff Platt:
Proponents of the takeout increase used flawed revenue projections saying there was little or no elasticity between takeout and handle,” Platt said. “They argued handle would remain the same, enabling purses to increase dramatically, and that field size would go up as a result of the increased purses—in turn generating increased handle and revenue. Of course none of that happened.
“HANA gave the legislature a more realistic argument. We told them the CHRB, TOC, and track management were using flawed revenue projections. We told them that racing’s customers see takeout as already too high, and that racing’s customer base would not support further takeout increases. We told them a takeout increase would cause handle to plummet, which in turn would have disastrous long-term consequences for track bottom lines and purses.
“We told them exactly what would happen beforehand, and then watched it play out almost exactly as we called it.”
There is much, much more at the link here.