Hastings Racecourse has announced that they are reducing their takeout rates on Win, Place, and Show to 15%, which is now the lowest in North America for thoroughbred racing.
They are also reducing takeout on the Pick 4 to 15%, which now ties them with Monmouth in having the lowest takeout rate for that specific bet.
Also, they are introducing a Jackpot Pick 5 (where did I read about that before?), which will most likely be like Gulfstream's Rainbow 6 and Beulah's Fortune 6. Though exact details aren't out yet, I would think they went with the Pick 5 instead of 6 for reasons I've cited before: In order to allow US bettors to play the bet they would need to have a one dollar minimum because US Horseplayers cannot make fractional wagers on Canadian tracks unless they are in Canada playing at either a track or simulcast center.
They are experimenting with new post times as well.
Hastings realize two important things. They are in competition with other tracks for existing customers, and that in order for horse racing to be viable in the future, new Horseplayers need to be created. Lower takeouts and this new jackpot bet are definitely the best way to grow.
I almost forgot to mention that they also increased purses by close to 20% on average. Hopefully, these initiatives will work and Hastings will reduce takeouts on other bets as well, while purses continue to climb.
Here is a comparison of Woodbine, Fort Erie, and Hastings:
BET WOODB. FORT E HAST.
WPS 16.95% 16.95% 15.00%
DD. 20.50% 26.20% 21.80%
Ex. 20.50% 26.20% 21.80%
Tri 27.00% 28.20% 27.80%
Sup 26.30% 26.20% 26.30%
P3. 26.30% 26.20% 22.80%
P4. 25.00% 26.20% 15.00%
P5. Not Ap Not Ap 15.00%
P6. 25.00% Not Ap Not Ap
Here is an up to date map of thoroughbred tracks in the US and Canada complete with takeout rates:
View Thoroughbred Racetracks in a larger map
Hollywood Mardis Gras Greyhound Racetrack in Florida has reportedly cut takeout on WPS to an industry low 9%. Wow. To be honest though, I've never bet on a dog race in my life, but if you are so inclined, this is fantastic news.