6 October 2011

Where Is The Bottom?

Handle dropped again in September. I don't need to go over the reasons why again, simply click here and read my post after August's numbers came out.

September's numbers were very ugly: Wagering was down 6.3% despite 3.3% more race dates. For the year wagering is down 7.6% and race dates are down 5.2%.

Interesting that total purses were up slightly over a half a percentage. Purse money doesn't motivate bettors very much. And the purse money would have been down if not for the artificial increase in California and the win fall in Illinois.

Speaking of California. There is now fallout from the stunned deal the racetracks made at the beginning of the year which gave the horsemen a bigger cut of the proceeds from betting and at the same time, increasing the takeout, assuring that tracks would have much less revenue bottom line. The ax is flying, and it is estimated that 100 jobs will be lost at Santa Anita.

Less workers at the track will inevitably mean less customer service and marketing....should kill racing there even quicker than before. I wonder if California horsemen are getting it yet.

Hastings, despite horrible weather early in the year, made a nice recovery and bucked the trend with a 4% handle increase this year. They dropped takeout on quite a few wagers before the meet started, and they finished very strong, which is predictable when lowering takeout....it doesn't happen overnight, but usually takes a half a year minimum for the real effects to start showing.

Last year, when doing nothing but staring in the headlights, handle at Hastings was off around 25%.

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