If you visit a chat board, or look at comments on blogs, horseplayers will invariably say "slots have killed horse racing". Mainly this perspective comes from the fact that while one-third of all purses come from slots, most slot states do not promote racing, nor lower the takeout with any of that windfall.
An editorial in a Pennsylvania newspaper agrees, and asks some tough questions to the state's legislators:
"From the outset, rescuing the racing business was a dubious excuse to launch a massive new gambling industry. Now that the gambling industry is in place, however, the Legislature should ensure that gamblers and taxpayers get a fair shake by decreasing the legal maximum takeout rate from 35 percent to something akin to the far lower national average."
The narrative is changing from "gamblers" to "gamblers and taxpayers", which we at HANA feel is a strong (and accurate) message in slots states. It would be welcoming to see mandatory set-asides for marketing racing, and lowering the takeout in slots jurisdictions. What do you think?