Sunday, April 12, 2015

Woodbine High Take Pick 5 Comment, on Behalf of the Smaller Player

We have left this comment on a Canadian website that is focused on Woodbine. We have been trying to spread the word that all tracks should highlight takeout rates for all new bets, good and bad, as a matter of course. Large players (rebated) are affected less when a high takeout bet is brought in (their rebate goes up), but the smaller player, we feel, needs to know exactly what they are paying as a customer.

The emails and comments we have received so far are not from large players (we have received some), as much as the smaller player who feels marginalized. Maybe your voice will not be listened to, but as a customer advocacy group, we will ensure people at least see it.

Woodbine has been made aware of your feelings.

Hi Jen,

We at HANA have not done anything, yet, other than let horseplayers know that the takeout for the pick 5 at Woodbine is well above average, and let Woodbine know they must as a business, let customers know what that new takeout rate is.

The pick 5 is a bet that smaller to mid-sized players have come to support, because tracks North America-wide have provided them with lower takeout and bigger payoffs. The current industry average stands at approximately 15%, and the last few pick 5's created were:

Northlands Park, 10%
Pimlico (Stronach), 12%
NYRA - Belmont, Aqueduct, Saratoga 15%
Santa Anita, Del Mar, etc, 14%

As you can see, customers are conditioned to play them, and they will likely blindly play them at Woodbine *thinking* they are getting a good deal. They are not. Their payoffs will be up to 16% to 17% lower.

Woodbine can do whatever they wish; however, not telling horseplayers in programs and on the track feed they are getting lower payoffs for bets they expect to be good is where we must step in on their behalf.

It's a shame Woodbine did not come in with a lower takeout pick 5 like other tracks. They have been doing some good things in the US market, and this, in our view (and looking at chatboards and our email inbox) has set them back in the States.

Thanks for reading,



Kevin and Xiaochun said...

What astonishes me endlessly is the notion of having a choice between several actions and always choosing the very worst one and then wondering what went wrong. This seems to be the modus operandi and raison d'etre of racetrack management. Woodbine already had high vig on all their bets, but when they had a chance to prove interest in the common bettor - the person that drives their business - they violated the logical and oft-proven dictum that higher vig=lower handle and lower vig=higher handle. It is a business axiom, so racetracks do just the opposite. The main reason they do, I believe, is that they believe in the fundamental stupidity of the bettor. And by playing the high-rake bets, we prove them right. So stop, people. Just stop betting these non-bargains, these pickpocket bets, and take your betting business to tracks offering reasonable "cost" for your bets. Mahoning Valley's P3 and P4 are 15%. So what if the horses aren't going to win the Belmont or Queen's Plate? The track had the sense and wisdom to offer a bargain and if you don't take it what incentive do they have to continue? I am not shilling for MVR, just citing and example. Go to the HANA website and see the chart for all the tracks and their bets/takes. For now, keep the rubber band on your Woodbine wallet and see what they do when their fantasy numbers don't add up. Woodbine, you lost my business and I was a very happy customer until you insulted us with a 25% P5.

Pacingguy said...

Please let us know what, if any response you get.

Brandon Mitchell Dolin said...