Without much publicity, Fort Erie has lowered the takeout on their Pick 4 wager (in Canada it is called a Win 4) This came into affect as of Sunday. Takeout was lowered from 26.2% to an industry tying low of 14%.
“We are testing the waters in terms of takeout reduction,” said FELRC’s Chief Operating Officer Rick Cowan. “Management will assess the results on a regular basis.”
In the past three days there has been a nice percentage increase in pool size. On Sunday, a total of $11,989 was wagered on both Pick 4's combined, up from $7,611 for the corresponding Sunday a year ago, representing an gain of 57%. On Monday the combined amount wagered was $15,629 compared to $10,582 the previous year, which works out to a 47% increase. On Tuesday with the combined total of $19,616 wagered versus just over $11,000 the Tuesday from the previous year, the Pick 4 pool size increased by 69%.
Remember, this is with little fanfare, outside of a mention in the DRF which erroneously reported the takeout dropping from 16% instead of 26.2%.
What is interesting is that it appears that the Horseplayer has started looking for, and playing low takeout type of wagers. On Sunday, there was a slight increase in total handle at Fort Erie (by 7%), but on Monday total handle was down 47%. And on Tuesday total handle was off by 27%. Last year they had an early post time Mondays and Tuesdays, this year the post time was 4 PM, and there was one less race this year.
Other takeouts at Fort Erie are on the very high side, especially doubles and exactors (at 26.2%). Perhaps a 2:30 or 3:00 PM post time might make more sense, but it is pretty clear that the takeouts on doubles and exactors need to come down so that total handle numbers can begin to go on an upswing as well.
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