25 July 2008

Note To Horse Racing Industry: The Game Is Dying Because of High Takeouts

Track Takeout Doesn't Have To Be Understood To Kill The Game

Pull The Pocket has a post up called Rake Me Out To The Poker Game analyzing Bill Finley's column post on racing in Italy. Quoting Bill Finley:
The Italians like to gamble. With recent changes liberalizing Italian gaming regulation, it is estimated that about $91 billion will be wagered in the country annually by the year 2010. The problem is, too many Italian gamblers are choosing to bet on something other than horse racing.

The takeout in Italy is exorbitant, as much as 40 percent on the trio, which is the Italian version of our trifecta. According to Barsotti, it wasn't always this way, but Italian racing regulators have decided to allow major increases in the takeout rate over the years.

Too many gamblers are going broke, which has created smaller betting pools. With smaller betting pools, it's hard to make a large bet. Anyone wanting to make a big wager on a horse will drive the horse's price down to unacceptable levels. That has caused big bettors to flee the game, which makes the pools smaller yet. It's an unending cycle.

Even if gamblers don't understand or care about takeout, they realize they get next to no bang for their buck when betting into something that has a high takeout. This leads to disillusionment, disinterest, and finally abandonment.
A 40% takeout is outrageous, but so is 20-25%, especially when races go off every 4 minutes.

HANA also did a similar piece on Finley's observations called 40% Takeouts: Live and Learn. Also read the post called "Churn"

HANA (The Horseplayers Association of North America) still is seeking members. The stronger the membership, the more pull we have. The main goal of HANA is to grow the game by increasing competition...making the ADW's and tracks compete properly for our gambling buck. Membership is free. Just click here and fill out and submit a short form (it will take you less than 1 minute).

The horse racing industry "thinks" the economy is to blame for the drastic drop in betting since the Triple Crown, especially.
But lottery sales are setting records in most states.
Maybe, the economy is partly to blame though. People may not be playing at surefire losing venues that don't offer life altering returns. I'm sure that beatable games (perceived beatable games) like sports betting and online poker are not being hurt one bit by the economy.

Only $1.2 million bet at Woodbine yesterday. The racing execs continue to fiddle while Woodbine is burning.

Racing Will Be Canceled At Sudbury Downs This Year Once They Run Out Of Purse Account Money

Del Mar on track handle is down 11%. Overall handle is down 6%. So some people may be avoiding going to the track because of high gas prices, but betting is DOWN regardless. Maybe they should sign a deal with Premier Turf Club and see what happens. Or maybe decision makers like Drew Couto are happy with the purse cuts that look imminent.

Las Vegas Professor Urges Legalizing Web Betting

Bill Downes to leave announcing at Presque Isle Downs in order to replace the late Luke Kruytbosch at Ellis Park

Hastings Apprentice puts her tack away for the rest of the year after getting 4 wins in only 11 races.
'TOUGH DECISION: Local fans cannot recall a more amazing beginning to a riding career then what Natasha Sihota, 24, accomplished the last two weekends. In that brief time, Sihota won four races, finished second three times and third once in 11 starts.

Which makes news of Sihota packing up her saddle for the balance of the Hastings season rather shocking?

Sihota's dilemma is unique. Once an apprentice jockey wins five races he or she is allowed a full year of riding with weight allowances and is granted extensions up to five months for time lost due to cold weather in Canada when racetracks are closed.

Because Sihota had not ridden her fifth winner this year, her true apprenticeship will start next year. Then she will be allowed her apprentice allowances for two full racing seasons, giving Sihota a chance to become the next rising star in Canadian horse racing.'

Today At Woodbine
In the 2nd I'm giving Meadow Princess one more chance. Last time she was pressed on a day that was not kind to speed. Today she has a bad post, but she gets a very positive jockey switch from Wilson to Sutherland. Terry Jordan has a runner also has speed, or else Meadow Princess would be a lead pipe cinch. Still with the slight drop down, she should win.
There is a lead pipe cinch in the third race. Tsalagi should eat the field.

In tomorrow's Wonder Where Stakes, a weak field means look for a price horse. I'm going with Snow Delicious to step up and win.

Perennial maiden Shpeen looks like he's in for a walk in the park in tomorrow's 7th race. Bettor beware!


Anonymous said...

Another big problem is that most tracks have neglected their marketing and promotions. It seems like if you can't do any other job or you know nothing about horse racing you are a prime candidate for the marketing department.

Anonymous said...

anonymous is correct. haven't seen an original promotion at Woodbine in years, and years. what ever happened to good old jockey championship days...etc...

Anonymous said...

The marketing people at Woodbine are amongst the worst in the industry. The sad thing is they act as if they know it all.

Anonymous said...

My favorite is the HPI promotion where you have to bet certain amounts to have a chance at prizes.

Nice imagination.

Anonymous said...


Hastings Park is lowering their takeout for show wagering to 12%. It will be the lowest in North America...

Also.."Hastings is also exploring similar initiatives that will benefit horse wagering enthusiasts. "