Hialeah opens their short quarter horse meet today. They are doing something phenomenal for Horseplayers: A 12% track takeout on all wagers. Many studies suggest that the optimal takeout for horse racing is somewhere between 10-12%, the optimal takeout being the price where tracks and horsemen make the most money.
Last year, Hialeah only did around $100,000 a day in handle. Wouldn't it be great to see that number double or triple this year thanks to increased churn and meeting many a Horseplayer's desire for lower takeouts? This is a great opportunity to give the industry some hard core evidence that lowering takeout will work.
The problem with this takeout reduction is that many internet betting sites are not offering Hialeah to their customers.
It makes me question whether there is a conspiracy going on. It is no skin off an ADW's nose to add a track. Why then are Twinspires, TVG, XPressBet, HPI, and NYRA Rewards not offering Hialeah? When I looked at their menus this morning Hialeah was nowhere to be found.
The fee that Hialeah charges for its signal is most likely minimal, and there will be a lot more churn thanks to the takeout reduction, so the argument that they are not making enough money is bogus. Besides, the overwhelming majority of smaller ADWs have Hialeah on the menu.
To my knowledge most, if not all of the major ADWs offered Hialeah last year, so the excuse that there is not demand for the product doesn't wash either, because if anything, there will be more demand this year thanks to the lower takeout.
Does the fact that California will have a takeout increase in place come December 26th have something to do with it? Or that a few of these ADWs own racetracks that have much higher takeouts have something to do with it? Do they want this venture to fail so that pressure is not placed on them to lower takeout?
One thing is certain, ADWs not offering Hialeah do not have their customer's best interest at heart. In fact, the customer is being completely disregarded.
There is a lot of buzz on the internet already. Check out this thread on Pace Advantage.
I urge all Horseplayers to make as much of an effort as possible to support Hialeah and their takeout decrease by playing it.
TrackMaster has recently revamped their speed figures for Quarter Horse Racing, if you are looking for decent past performance help.
UPDATE: Hialeah is on TVG's menu.