13 August 2009

Fort Erie Still Not Sold

For the past 8 years, since moving to Fort Erie, I've heard numerous rumours about the sale of Fort Erie. I'm sure offers have been made, in fact, I know offers have been made. But no offers have been accepted to date.

Nordic Gaming has historically overvalued the racetrack. The asking price has dropped, but like an unsavvy investor, who bought a stock that dropped well below what it is was once worth, Nordic is unwilling to unload at today's prices (they seem to be chasing 2 year old prices), even though they don't want the stock in their portfolio anymore. Nordic continues to want more Fort Erie than what the market is willing to pay for it, so Nordic continues to hang on to it. Pretty simple stuff.

According to a newly issued press release by the Ontario HBPA, there are a couple of interested parties kicking the can and the Fort Erie Racing Consortia is also looking into leasing the track long term.

I don't know how they can afford to lease the joint, IF in fact, the track really does lose money.

I wonder if Great Canadian Gaming is one of the potential suitors. They are a well run company, but I can't see them overpaying for the Fort.

So basically, it might as well be February all over again, as there is nothing definitive regarding racing at Fort Erie......the only thing for sure is Ajax Downs will have a 5 eighth track ready to go next year.

Canadian Man In Deep Doo Doo Over Internet Gambling
A Canadian man was indicted this week in the United States on fraud and money laundering charges after he allegedly processed more than US$350-million in online gambling payments, highlighting the cat-and-mouse battle that pits law enforcement agencies against the intangible world of Internet gambling.

Douglas Rennick, 34, who lives in Canada, faces a maximum of 55 years in jail and must turn over US$565,908,288 in monies reaped through the alleged financial conspiracy that saw millions of dollars funneled from a Cyprus bank to two accounts in California.

He is alleged to have tried to disguise the transactions to distribute gambling winnings to U. S. residents.

Why was Chantal Sutherland taken off her mounts on the weekend, and didn't ride yesterday? Lets just say, it was just a hiccup.

Breeders Cup Gets Tough On Drugs....sort of

In addition to the crackdown on steroids and Class 1 and Class 2 drugs, this year's Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita (Nov. 6-7) will include out of competition testing for EPO (blood doping) 10 days before the Breeders' Cup and TCO2 (milk shaking) testing in the detention barn before all 14 Breeders' Cup races. A failed EPO test would render the horse ineligible for the race and the trainer open to suspensions. Failed tests for TCO2 will mean purse redistributions and suspensions. The latter two testing policies were introduced at the 2007 Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Park.

This is pretty much an admission that there is an EPO/DPO and milkshake problem still plaguing the industry in a big way.

The test for EPO should be specifically 10 days from the race, but it should be done anytime, and without warning to all entrants, or potential entrants from 30 days to after the race. Savvy trainers (amateur pharmacists) can easily work around pre-determined test dates.

I don't agree with the author's attitude towards penalizing the owner. The trainer yes, the owner, no, unless there is proof that the owner had knowledge of the use of the illegal substances.

The NTRA Comments On The Menendez Bill
Some key points in the bill:

# S. 1597 (Section 203) amends the tax code to eliminate the automatic 25% federal withholding on pari-mutuel winnings of $5,000 or more (incorporating tax legislation also known as the Pari-mutuel Conformity and Equality Act, or PACE Act).

# S. 1597 (Section 206) raises the reportable amount for pari-mutuel winnings from $600 at odds of 300-1 to $1,200 at odds of 300-1, in line with the reportable dollar amount for slot machine winnings.
Considering that almost every horseplayer who doesn't get substantial rebates loses money in the long run, withholding and tax reporting is ridiculous, and an out and out tax grab. Plus it takes potential churnable money out of the pools.

This is something that Canada understands, and it is good to see it as an issue in the USA finally.

One thing that I don't understand fully is how poker is considered a skill game, but sports betting seems to be left out of that definition in regards to this bill.

Youbet handle up, profits down

Don't forget to check out Horseplayersbet.com. Where today's small bettor has a real chance to be tomorrow's big bettor.


railbird said...

Chantal 'smotherman' Suntherland blew over Sunday and got 5 days suspension,Ajax Downs will even expand the track and make wider turns if Fort Erie closes.there will be ship ins only as they do for quarter horses,no stabling on track.I spent the weekend @ Ajax downs,its a very nice place with a ton of potential...and if they get poker,It will be huge!

bullring said...

I would like to see a racetrack just be a racetrack, if at all possible.

Anonymous said...

I cant see ship-ins being a viable solution.

Any idea what Nordic wants for it now?

Anonymous said...

Try to get the facts straight before you insert your foot in your mouth. There is a lease agreement in place right now and all managers have to reapply for there jobs.

Cangamble said...

Lease agreement? So is the Consortium on the hook for any losses?