8 March 2008

Cangamble Gets Attacked By Anonymous "WEG" Exec?

I left a comment on Jennifer Morrison's blog a few days ago. First I corrected an article which stated that Fort Erie would only have $4 million in purses this year (the real number is $9.1 million, but I guessed it was at least $8 million). I also purposely linked a post of my own to the comment: Magna's Future In Doubt; Stronach Is No Visionary. I admit I was most interested in getting WEG execs lured over to read the post, and I do think it worked;)
I checked for 5 days to see if anyone commented there, and I was just alerted today by someone commenting on my blog (the same person? who commented on Jen's blog) that there was a comment there. So let me rip this probable WEG exec a new one:

Anonymous said...

Love how this wiseguy starts his rant with Stronach's name so you think it's another MEC article, but pulls off the "bait and switch" and suddenly it becomes yet another tired old anti-WEG rant. Yawn...

If telling the truth and making sure the truth gets out makes me a wiseguy, then I'm a wiseguy. By you calling it "another tired old anti-WEG rant" tells me you are either a brain dead customer or a racing exec (as close to being brain dead as possible). WEG deserves as much criticism as they get and then some. They have literally driven good customers away. At a time when everybody can bet, they are struggling keeping up last years numbers. I have a huge list of how WEG violates their customers and potential customers, but I don't have enough time right now to go into them.

But since he likes to shoot off his mouth anonymously it's time someone replies to him. Also anonymously. From someone who does not have any connection with Messrs. Willmot or Stronach.

I doubt you have no connections. There has to be something in it for you. If that is not true, you are in fact brain dead. BTW, feel free to email me. I'm not nearly as anonymous as you.

He starts off claiming that a 15% takeout across the board would be fair, then further down in his blog, suddenly quotes 10% as a fair number. Read on and he starts to brag about all the offshore places he is using. He says that if WEG or MEC switched to such a takeout suddenly he and all his whale friends will start betting through North American pools again.

If WEG dropped their takeout to 15% max (all inclusive), they would most probably get all my business. They would most likely get most of the big bettors I know to bet through them again, at least partially. You see, at 15% everybody will have more churn money, and to win at the races you either need very low takeouts or lots of dummy money in the pools. The racetrack doesn't lose as long as they have a takeout.
I think that 10-12% is the best number for all. It will maximize betting, churning, and yes, profits for the track. By cutting to 15%, I'm hopeful the tracks will see that this is the way to go.
BTW, I didn't say I use all kinds of offshore places, I stated they are available to me. Who says I don't bet through North American pools?

OK, so here's an open question for Mr. Wiseass. Let's say tomorrow Willmot and Stronach announce a 15% takeout across the board. What guarantee do THEY have that you will live up to your end of the deal and actually give them your business? I suspect Mr. Wiseass will be back on his little bloggie saying "15% is too high! I want a 10% takeout or else... " Then if they actually yield to his whiny ass and drop to 10%, then he'll be back with "I can get 5% at Betfair!" or "this illegal place in Curacao will rebate me 5%" so they go to 5%, then he says "I can get 1.5% playing craps".... and so on and so on and so on, it'll never end. That's the problem, Mr. Wiseass and his cronies don't play fair.

Personally, I stay away from bookies. They want you to lose, and make rules in their favour. If I were a win bettor, I'd consider them though. Willmot and Stronach expect their customers to take risks, they should take one themselves and drop the takeouts and see what happens.
No guarantee they will get all my business. In fact, there is no guarantee I will continue betting at all. Though it is highly likely they will get all my business.
I can actually get 3% at Betfair only if I win, but the churning required creates a game similar to blackjack. Since it is only win, sometimes place and show only, it doesn't appeal to me. Every real player knows that it is exotics that make or break you in horse racing.
What is wrong with gamblers having choices anyway? If the racing product is so grand (and I think it is), it will grow.
I'm currently playing against an average takeout of around 15% on exotics, and starting to think I could either win or break even at these levels.
But the idea of dropping rates isn't just to attract the bettors who aren't going through WEG for example. It is to attract new players. New players will only appear through the buzz of other winners. The idea that the game could be beatable. It is NOT beatable when the takeout averages 23%. Not even close.
Drop rates, and it brings in a lot more smart money who also realize that there is new dummy money in the game.

So, to the question... would he agree to the following solution?

1- Reduce the takeout to 12% across the board... BUT
2- Hong Kong's rules are made into law in North America... here is the warning that appears at the bottom of every HKJC webpage: "Don't bet with illegal bookmakers. The maximum penalty for betting with illegal bookmakers is a fine of $30,000 and 9 months imprisonment..."

That would be great. You'd have to define what an illegal bookmaker is though, not to be a wiseguy.

So now everybody is happy. Wiseass (and everybody else) get a reasonable takeout, and WEG can grow its business, but if Wiseass reneges and continues to use Betfair, Curacao, PTC, or online poker (and you know he will!) we toss him in the slammer and fine him $30 G's (and those fines should go directly to Woodbine's purse account). Sounds fair to me.... Then he can go sit in a cell and read that book he keeps threatening to read!!!

Again, you would have to define illegal bookmaker. I mean it. I think Woodbine should set up a betting exchange in Canada exactly the same way that Betfair does (with the same rates). This will not only keep lost revenues here, but it will also potentially take in new international monies. I've never played online poker but know many who do. Either make a Canadian law that makes it illegal, or more preferably put it on the WEG site with some of the profits going to the horsemen.
Am I allowed to buy lottery tickets?
What I do know, is at 12% I'd most likely be pumping minimum $300,000 plus through my WEG account.
12% would also make put offshore bookies out of business. Pinnacle has already cut their rebate because of what happened at IRG. They don't want winners, and they are in a grey area to begin with. I can't see many Canadians playing there if takeouts were reduced in the industry to the 12-15% range.

As an aside, I'd like to add this when it comes to competition. I'd like to know how Woodbine doesn't violate the Competitions Act when they don't allow us to wager on Laurel (when they dropped takeout rates or upped their takes on Ellis Park from 4% to at least 25% last year, and continue to increase their takeout rates on tris at Tampa Bay for example from Tampa's rate of 20.5% to WEGs rate of at least 25%). They have collusive deals with most ADW's in the US, which doesn't allow Canadians to set up accounts with them. Here is the Competition Act:

Competition Act

The Competition Act is Canada’s antitrust legislation. The purpose of this Act is to maintain and encourage fair competition in Canada. It regulates trade and commerce activities and monitors trade practices. For example, mergers and acquisitions that can reduce competition are often subject to review by the Competition Tribunal. The Act may be conveniently divided into three principal areas: criminal offences, civil offences and merger regulation.

The Competition Bureau is responsible for administration and enforcement of the Competition Act. Its role is to promote and maintain fair competition so that Canadians can benefit from lower prices and product choices.

Now I have one question for Anonymous. How does keeping track takeout rates ridiculously high help WEG get and keep clients?


Anonymous said...

Read your blog daily and fully agree with your views.

By the way, love your response(s) to that "amateur" critic, but you should have hit him harde!!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember David Wilmot on Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown on the Fan590 a couple of years ago? I think what had happend was Woodbine took the Fan590 to court, because they were advertising Bowmans.com sportsbook, a sportsbook that took action on Woodbine races. This was against the law according to Woodbine. In the end the only thing that happend was Bowmans dropped taking action on Woodbine, I think they closed their entire racebook, it was pretty lowsy anyway, low limits, I don't even think they had multi legged exotics. Bob Mccown let it be known that Mr. Wilmot had called up to explain WEG's position, Mr. McCown seemed annoyed by the whole situation. Mr. Wilmot then went on a rant about how he wished Woodbine could compete with online poker sites! It was fantastic! It's like Starbucks making hamburgers. Why the hell would Woodbine want to open a poker site, only Wilmot knows. I used Bowmans.com at the time to place wagers on sports, I made a point of churning all my horse action through HPI, as I believed it was the right thing to do. I even stuck through all those crappy Canadian betting pools on American simulcasting with insane takeouts (30+% across the board). After listening to this idiot (Wilmot) on the Fan spew his nonsense, I never put another dollar though HPI again, I even make bets with pinnacle AT Woodbine using my blackberry. I think Woodbine needs to give a little more credit to it's customers. We're not all brain dead sheeple, we understand that there are options out there.

Anonymous said...

WEG should just shut up and stop whining. Willmot is trying to defend the indefensible, he has no points and he has no case.
WEG knows now we have options, they just want to eliminate them instead of what a real business does: compete with them.
If they got into poker, I have no problem with that. I'd rather have Canadians bet within Canada if it is done at the same rates as offshore.
Bowman's is still around and I do believe they take Canadians like Betfair does. But there is a rule that is fairly recent. An internet betting shop can't advertise in Canada, because they are not licenced to operate in Canada. It doesn't mean they can't take Canadian clients though.
Not crazy about Pinnacle, they are bookies and really don't want you to win.
I prefer exchange betting like Betfair, it is more parimutuel. Betfair doesn't lose sleep if you win.
The reason we can't bet through Magna, etc is because of collusive deals signed by Woodbine.
Rebate houses are the best options by far.
If your jurisdiction permits, Premier Turf Club is an excellent option, but they don't have A tracks.