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.