28 December 2009
What If The Mob Ran Horse Racing?
I'm a huge Sopranos fan. I miss the show. And I wasn't happy with the ending. But that is another story.
What if Tony Soprano was the racing czar? How would racing look today?
He might charge the mooches (horseplayers) a vig (takeout) of 20% or greater.
He might allow his mob friends and his best clientele to have access to gamble at a reduced vig, as long as they keep it a secret.
He might start up a side business where he can negotiate fees track's charge for their signal. Of course he would expect a good cut for his service, at the expense of the mooches and even the good clientele.
He might turn a blind eye to people who might bet once a race starts.
He might expect and demand a cut from bets that aren't made on horse races.
He might take an extra cut from gamblers who cash winning tickets.
He might make it difficult on tracks that don't want to pay what his side business is asking and then exclude them from the mainstream until they wised up.
He might show a loss on race tracks that have close to $10 million in handle a day, and then give the Feds a hard time when they want to look at the books.
He might charge a higher vig to certain people than the track actually charges.
He might give high percentage trainers a slap on the wrist if they get caught with a positive.
He might give trainers a two to five year head start to use performance enhancing drugs that aren't being tested for.
He might make it easy for customers to bet on credit, who would be charged 20% plus if they don't pay back on time.
He might complain publicly that anyone competing against him his acting illegally, even though they are not.