14 March 2008

Woodbine Ranks 52nd Out Of 58 When It Comes To Lowest Takeouts

After I posted a track takeout rate chart, one of my readers (MS), put together a chart ranking tracks by lowest takeout average (I'll try to post it here at a later date). The number one bettor friendly track is Keeneland with an average takeout of 18.2%, followed by Churchill Downs with an 18.5% average takeout.
Where does Woodbine rank? Out of 58 popular tracks, Woodbine ranks 52nd with a 23.2% average takeout. Fort Erie ranks 57th with a horrible 25% average (no wonder they don't get people showing up at the track). On the bottom is Assiniboia Downs with a 25.9% average.
What I find intriguing is the fact that many of the tracks with the lowest takeouts do not have slots, while the tracks who gouge the public the most, do have slots.

Dave Perkins says the time is right to legalize sports betting in Ontario.
Good points. Might be good for border towns if tracks like Fort Erie and Windsor put in real sports books. Windsor already has a sports book, but it is a glorified Pro-Line book. You have to pick at least 3 winning games and you end up getting gouged with Pro-Line like takeouts (the house edge).
Who is going to take the risk I wonder? In Fort Erie, I can see many Americans coming across the border to bet on the Bills or Sabres. They will get an extraordinary amount of action on one side. OLG and the racetracks have never been known to take risks. I can see a parimutuel solution for this where the track has no risk (exchange betting like Betfair).
The main thing though is make the odds comparable to what internet players can get online with offshore, or just forget about it.
And if the government wants to get the money that is bet offshore, they government must allow internet betting to be licensed from within Canada, or Ontario at least.
I would like to see companies run it who are at arms length with the government. That is the only way to ensure true competitive odds. If WEG were allowed to run it, they would have to do a total reversal of philosophy because they would have to offer the same odds that can found at Pinnacle and Betfair.

Andrew Beyer is off to Argentina:

Argentine tracks take a cut of about 29 percent from every peso or dollar wagered -- one of the most burdensome rates of any important racing nation. In the United States, where the takeout rate averages 20 percent, the most sophisticated gamblers with the most sophisticated information struggle to eke out a profit of a couple percentage points. How could anyone using the limited data in Argentina overcome a 29 percent takeout?

I asked Tony Bullrich, the top executive at Palermo, if his track had any serious professional gamblers. "There are a couple who think they are," he answered. "But, no, we don't."

Why is Argentine racing so unkind to bettors? Acknowledging that the premise of my question was accurate, Bullrich replied that racing had been in difficult straits since 1988 and had been thrown into utter crisis in 2001. With its survival in jeopardy, the thoroughbred industry had to rescue owners and breeders.

In 2002 the government made this rescue by authorizing Palermo to install slot machines, whose revenue boosted purses enough to make buying racehorses a rational investment. "If you win one 2-year-old maiden race [with a winner's purse of about $11,000], you have covered your training expenses for the year," Bullrich said. "No place in the world has the same equation. Now the owners are coming back. . . . We are coming out of the crisis. Later we can think about gambling and takeout."

WEG has a takeout of 28.3% on triactors and 26.3% on all other exotic bets (not including exactors and doubles). Why are they so unkind to bettors? Arrogance, greed, and mostly stupidity, of course.

EU Investigating United States Internet Laws Pertaining To Gambling Hopefully, this will lead to the States dropping their idiotic law which bans (or attempts to ban) US residents from gambling online with an offshore betting company.
Like I've said before, let the tracks or Vegas take the action. It keeps the potential tax dollars at home.
Looks like Canada is going to do the right thing.

Even with the ban on the internet in the US last year, horse race betting actually dropped. This shows that internet poker and sports betting has little affect on cannibalizing horse racing.

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