Friday, April 25, 2014

Press Release: Discusses Their Player Action Announces Boycott of Churchill Downs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (April 25, 2014, San Diego, CA) has announced that a horseplayer boycott of Churchill Downs is underway, citing an increase in takeout coupled with a massive jump in compensation for Key Executives at CHDN as reasons for the boycott.

"Key Executives at CHDN decided to hit horseplayers with a takeout increase," spokesman Jeff Platt said. "They suggested to the press an extra $8 million could be raised for purses if they multiply last year's handle numbers by this year's higher takeout rates. But it never works out that way. Takeout and handle share an elastic relationship.  Horseplayers are price sensitive. Higher takeout translates to lower handle and lower purses."

Platt cited takeout increases in California as an example. "For the first six months immediately following the takeout increase at Los Alamitos in 2009, their on track handle was down 27 percent. Horseplayers boycotted Santa Anita and Golden Gate in the early months of 2011 as a result of takeout increases there. Handle dropped significantly enough that track management and horsemen invited us to the table to talk about ways to stop the bleeding. As a result of those talks Hollywood Park put in a 14% takeout pick5 and Del Mar began adding $50k in seed money to their pick six pools on non carryover Sundays. Beginning this Saturday, April 26  Santa Anita will be offering rolling doubles at 18%. None of this would have happened if higher takeout was the answer."

"But that's not the worst part," Platt said. "According to Morningstar, compensation for Key Executives at CHDN jumped from $8.20 million in 2012 to $27.92 million in 2013. On the one hand CHDN is suggesting to the press the only way to raise $8 million for purses is to hit horseplayers with a takeout increase. While on the other hand, the same executives who decided on higher takeout saw their total compensation jump by more than double the amount they hope to take from horseplayers. In my opinion that's egregious."

Beginning Saturday, April 26 : Takeout for WPS wagers at Churchill Downs will be 17.50%. (An increase of 9.375% vs. last year's takeout rate of 16.00%.) Takeout for all EXOTIC wagers at Churchill Downs will be 22.00%.

(An increase of 15.79% vs. last year's takeout rate of 19.00%.)

• is asking horseplayers to consider the idea that horseplayers are consumers and that every handle dollar bet not just at Churchill Downs, but at CHDN owned tracks Arlington Park, Calder, and Fairgrounds, along with every handle dollar bet through CHDN owned ADW, and every dollar spent downloading data and reports from CHDN owned data provider is a vote for higher takeout everywhere.

• also wants horseplayers to know there will be plenty of tracks running this summer whose wagering menus offer better value than Churchill and that players have other options when it comes to choice of ADWs and data providers.


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