In a bloodhorse story today, the announcement that Premier Turf Club has signed up to offer Keeneland races was official. Of particular interest was the growth of this little start-up, who offers conditional wagering (a stop-loss bet), dutching, rebates and an interface for the 21st century.
Premier Turf Club has added Keeneland content to its list of track offerings, building on a business model that has allowed the North Dakota-based advance deposit wagering entity to realize four-fold growth in handle in the last few months.
The Keeneland signal, which will begin with the start of the spring meet April 4, brings the total number of tracks Premier Turf Club offers to 101, including 38 Thoroughbred tracks. Premier Turf Club, which offers cash rewards to customers utilizing its Internet and call-center wagering platforms, has been fully operational for less than a year.
“This is a milestone for us, and it’s only the beginning,” said Premier Turf Club senior partner Joe Riddell, who is also a Lexington-based liaison for horsemen’s relations. “We have been able to grow a company despite missing many premium signals, and that speaks volumes about what we are trying to accomplish.”
Yep, we read that right: 400% growth, despite getting constant roadblocks put up from people in racing that don't realize, or are just too damn stubborn to know, that price matters.
And yes, this money goes into pools, instead of going to an offshore bookmaker.
“The theory that I am operating under is that Premier Turf Club players contribute into (wagering) pools that they are comfortable with – the certainty that the pricing is in the pools,” Riddell said. “And that the maximum amount gets back to the bricks and mortar – the racetracks – and the horsemen.”
In other news in this vein, Betfair announced it was expanding their Tasmanian operations. For those who don't know, Tasmania a couple of years ago licensed betfair for their racing, much to the dismay of the 19th century thinkers. They were vilified. Well, Tasmania does not seem to mind now. More jobs, and increases in churn. In this latest story, Tasmanian racing is opened up to the UK bettors.
Betfair Australia's chief executive officer Anthony Klok says UK customers are already betting on Australian racing.
Mr Klok says Betfair will need to add to the 85 employees it already has in Tasmania.
"I think we're going to have bigger operations in Hobart through all of our natural growth," Mr Klok said.
"We've been looking at the numbers and we have 85 people in Tasmania at the moment I would think, if we're going to do some servicing of the UK we'd probably put on another 20 people in the next six months, so there's a good growth story there," he said.
We are watching the future right before our eyes, and for me - as I work in the internet - it is something I love watching.
The question remains however, will the old time thinkers join the party? Will places like Premier Turf Club and Betfair continue to be the monopolist's whipping boys? Will tracks like Woodbine and NYRA and Southern Cal racing join in the growth by allowing incentive wagering providers to offer their product, or will they stick to their high-priced guns and not offer price-sensitive customers low cost alternatives?
I guess we'll see. If they don't want to join the revolution, well so be it. There is a whole wide-world out there to gamble in. We don't need them.