24 October 2010

Fort Erie's Season Winding Down

At least they had a 2010 season. But that is about it. The highlight for Fort Erie this year was being able to negotiate with the government to stay alive. Other than that, nothing significant was accomplished. The track is still being run like it is 1965 and there is no competition out there. It will be interesting to see their handle numbers, but my guess is that they will be down.

Fort Erie continues to murder their on track patrons with sky high track takeouts, and that was the first thing that should have been fixed. It is impossible to grow a gambling business with high takeouts.

The government has found it out too, though they don't realize what they found out. Perkins: Internet Forcing Government's Hand On Sports Betting. The government "thinks" that single game sports betting will be a win fall for them allowing them to compete with sites like Betfair or bookies, etc. Well, apparently not if the government runs it:

'...the OLG’s Pro-Line parlay game is drying up; for the fiscal year ended in March of 2009, OLG sports lotteries took in only $249 million (and paid out only $156 million, or 63 per cent, to winners). Most smart bettors have long since tossed aside parlay cards in favour of single-game betting on the Internet, with its 10 per cent “juice.'

No, Pro-Line is drying up because of the 37% takeout. A three team parlay with most bookies has a takeout of 12.5%. Only the true brain dead play Pro-Line, and because of the high takeout, they get wiped out very quickly.

Will they have single games where the house edge is 4.6% like bookies offer? I highly doubt it. We will see.

The government (OLG) has a license to print money by allowing parlays, but so far they have blown it. They, like the racing industry have forced most moderate and big gamblers to gamble anywhere but Canada.

Battle Of The Breeds At Fort Erie Today

Definitely an interesting concept. This is probably the first time that a race pitting thoroughbreds and quarter horses has ever occurred in Ontario. Yesterday's race didn't count, as it attracted one thoroughbred (Black Napkins), and quarter horses in the gate with her must have confused the heck out of her. When the gate opened, it appeared she started looking for thoroughbreds to race against.

According to figures, quarter horses have a huge edge going a quarter of a mile. But today's distance is around 4 furlongs. I believe the thoroughbreds have the edge today. I can see Daverick and Wasted running one two.

Another excellent blog piece by Craig Walker over at TrackMaster Blog
Craig has posted the best deals out there as far as takeout goes in both harness racing and thoroughbred racing.

His ideas on increasing handle are right on, though his idea about artificial tracks can be definitely argued against in regards to increasing handle.

Another Typical Bad Move By Woodbine When It Comes To Retaining Long Term Customers

In case you haven't noticed, Woodbine has now put a superfecta in every race that has at least 7 betting interests.

This is something the Woodbine brass feels is the right thing because the public wants it. Just because the general public wants it, doesn't mean it will increase business.

The problem is the takeout for the bet is 26.3%. The payoffs tempt the Horseplayer to bet these things, and putting them in every race, especially races with fields of less than 9 horses, will erode the Woodbine player's bankroll even faster than before.

Because Woodbine core customer's don't have an endless supply of money, what this does is take the Horseplayer out of the game faster, and it is terrible for long term business. The blended takeout to the Horseplayer is now higher, as they won't be putting new money towards these bets, but money that might have gone on other bets with lower takeouts like WPS or exactors.


Pacingguy said...

Los Al has raced thoroughbreds against thoroughbreds in their 870yd races so I would have to think at this distance, no breed has a particular edge assuming they are of equal talent. So I don't know if I would assume at 4 furlongs the t-breds have a definite advantage.

You are so right about these tracks that offer superfectas in every race. Smart tracks will only have three or four a night.

Anonymous said...

This is not the first time in Ontario that there has been a TB/QH race. I had a TB filly almost 20 years ago that ran against the QHs at Picov Downs. The government had decided that this was going to be allowed, so on race day, I stopped in at Woodbine, got my QH license, and headed off to Ajax.

The filly was coming back from knee chip removal surgery, and the trainer used this as a stepping stone to returning to racing.

Ramon Dominguez rode her, and after the race, a 400yd, where she finished 3rd, he told us that if she'd had a ture 1/4 mile, she'd have won. She was just getting going at the finish lone!