Saturday, March 29, 2008

Slots Without a Plan

It's Saturday, just watching the UAE Derby this morning. The World's best thoroughbreds, Americans, Europeans, Mid East owners, the world's top jocks. All in one place for one day. Boy what harness racing could have done by using slots funding for something big, just like our old post on the Breeders Crown.

Speaking of that, well, Kentucky lost the political battle to get slots.

The demise of casino legislation comes six weeks after Beshear unveiled a complex plan for a dozen casinos, seven at racetracks and five free-standing ones, that he said could bring in $600 million a year for the state.

House leaders quickly chopped the proposal down to nine casinos, but were never able to agree whether racetracks should be guaranteed five casino licenses or simply given the opportunity to compete for five licenses.


As we spoke about in the Breeders Crown 2010 post above, the world is changing, and it is ALL politics. We blew growing the game with slots, and everyone noticed it. Do we really think governments will keep shoveling money into a business that proves it can not manage it properly? That was the crux of my post, that is, for Kentucky and elsewhere a new fresh plan for slots money must accompany asking for a handout. The Breeders Crown at Lexington, and marrying that to tourism and more was one way I thought would sway the legislators. There are other things we can do. What do we constantly offer government? We want more money for purses, that is all. We offer them nothing, so soon they will give us nothing.

I see similar is happening to Windsor raceway. Because of revenue decreases (the slots at Windsor have extremely low revenue) they have applied to drop some dates. The purse pool can not handle it. Anyone with a pulse knew that this was coming. Four or five years ago the slots revenue starting dropping. Betting handle, which pretty much means nothing in the slots world, did fairly well and to this day is not awful (when compared to other tracks), but with slots revenue sinking something had to be done. The writing was on the wall. Of course, the powers that be did nothing. The horseman organization fought for more racedates, like they usually do, and not thinking of the future. Windsor management, which has not gotten high marks in the industry, believe it or not actually had a plan: The plan was to purse pool slots revenue from the C tracks in their ownership, Dresden and Woodstock, and divert those funds to a high handle track like Windsor. The horseman poo-poo'd this of course, and the status quo ruled.

Now people are complaining. Get your head out of your butt folks, this problem was created by an industry that can't think about tomorrow, let alone next week. Mindless horseman drivel wants all money put into purses, want the tracks to pay for everything, and they want to do nothing. Tracks want profit. When those two opposing forces meet, we are left with nonsense; and that nonsense cripples the business.

That's my fun Saturday. I'd like to write something good on the slots topic, but seemingly everything I read is always the same. The same ol same ol rules harness racing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And you wonder how this is allowed to go on?? No other business model on the planet let alone one that hinges on a gambling platform could go mindlessly such as this one does.
It simply defies logic.