Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Horseplayer Mike Maloney: 'Horsemen Groups Bought Churchill's Pick-Up Line"

The takeout increase by @churchilldowns has spawned quite a bit of reaction. Today we heard from horseplayer Mike Maloney. Mike is a long-time Kentucky resident and is a quasi-advisor to the Racing Commission and some racetracks.

Here's what he had to say:

"The increase is certainly frustrating for me personally as I've always tried to bet as much as possible at Churchill because my net cost of a wager was reasonable. Now the percentages tell me I have to slash my handle there.

The takeout hike also frustrates me from an industry standpoint because I think in the long term everyone involved makes less not more. Any reasonable observer knows moves like this mean fewer players betting less money in the long run and what industry can prosper by discouraging and/or eliminating it's core customers? It's a shortsighted money grab by CDI and shows a total lack of understanding of the elasticity of betting handle by the horsemen groups who were sold this idea as a long term solution. You would think by now the horsemen groups would do more due diligence before buying Churchill's pick-up line.

Now we must hope that in the long term best interest of Kentucky racing the Ky Racing Commission will adjust the regulation to require Keeneland and Churchill to operate under the previous takeout limits. And given the strong influence that Churchill routinely exhibits over the racing commission which is charged with regulating them, I am not optimistic.

Meanwhile, in the world where the laws of economics still matter, the horseplayer's highest rated track Keeneland, immediately announces no increase to their takeout rates and small but growing Kentucky Downs continues to lower takeout far below the max rates available."

We'll try to share more gambling economics, player reaction and otherwise here on the blog this week and next.


Anonymous said...

The only "total lack of understanding" evident in this column is that of the interviewee.

For any truly reasonable observer understands clearly that it IS those so-called core customers who are exacting an unforgivable toll on the rank and file who will fill the infield and most of the other pockets of CD on Derby Day.

The person who grumbles about 17.5% and 22% takeout while at the same time he is directly responsible for the effective 30%+ takeout experienced today by the next generation of could-be-but-won't-be-because-the-takeout-is-too-unbeatable horseplayers is an oxymoron.

To cite the words of some self-centered ding-a-ling whose position as stated virtually assures his sense of himself as somehow more important than are the masses, makes HANA look as desperate as ever.

How about you guys drop the mere gambling economics in favor of the far more relevant parimutuel economics?? Then you might actually re-open the many pairs of eyes which you've collectively closed over time.

What say you collectively begin to address the real world as it exists in the present, and develop an outlook which could even have a future to it (outside of the future where you keep cannibalizing one another for there being nobody else around foolish enough to gamble on horse racing as you've caused it to exist at present)?

You have collectively brought today's parimutuel conditions upon yourselves, and the only way to improve things is to begin to reverse all of that damage which you have collectively brought onto horse racing.

Now run along and study the 4th race at Balmoral in order to get HANA back on its most useful trajectory.

Anonymous said...

Hello Anon,

I haven't seen you troll this site for at least a month.

What have you been up to?

David B

Anonymous said...

Only an industry insider could blame customers for high takeout.

Mike: Eloquently spoken and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Dude, its really simple. Increase takeouts, means lower net pool to distribute to the winning tickets. Lower net pool means lower winning prices. So if I get paid less because of increased takeouts, I get less value for my dollar.

So its like inflation, your dollar makes less money today than it did yesterday.

The beauty of horse racing is that there are lots of tracks that offer different takeouts, so I play the track the offers the best value. If this case, Churchill just lost my handle.

Its already tough enough to pick a winner, nevermind the track guaging more out of the pool.

Anonymous said...

The last anonymous can't seem to understand that he gets paid less because of most of these fools represented by HANA.

The difference between Churchill Downs and HANA is that at least Churchill Downs is willing to admit to causing you to "get paid less".

You are all counteracting that which is intuitive common sense - and you can't even see or understand same.

Now get out of your own way before you collectively bring horse racing down on top of yourselves.