1 March 2011

Hastings Gets Serious About Growth

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:

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.


Anonymous said...

Have you heard any truth to the rumour that Woodbine is lowering their Triactor rate to 25% from 27%?

Cangamble said...

I believe that Woodbine is trying to get that extra 2% (4% on triactors) that horsemen get paid for from slots. Hopefully if that happens, they'll reduce takeout on all bets accordingly, but they have a history of not doing that.
I haven't heard of any takeout reductions other than that, but it wouldn't surprise me because I think Woodbine is starting to get it.

Matt - Hastings Racecourse said...

Just for clarification - the Pick 5 will not be a 'jackpot' bet similar to the one at Gulfstream that pays only one winner. The release should have been worded that we are hoping for carryovers that will result in jackpots - if no one has 5/5, the pot will carry, minus some 4/5's payouts.

Cangamble said...

Hi Matt. Thanks for the clarification.

Anonymous said...

Hastings already had a 12% takeout on show bets a few years ago, a brainstorm which was met with no interest on either side of the windows.

Cangamble said...

Anon, a 1% takeout on show bets wouldn't interest the masses. When you take breakage into consideration on show bets, you might be looking at another 2-3% in net takeout, and most seasoned Horseplayers know that.