I got to catching up on a bit of reading tonight. We have spoken and discussed many times that racing is one bizarre business. Being fortunate enough to be able to work with many companies in many businesses in a consulting role, I can't help but be amazed at the disconnect in our sport with virtually every business known to man.
So, thinking out loud, here goes some Monday thoughts on the bizarre and crazy in this industry:
We go on strike for more racedates at places where no one watches us race.
In 2007 we made it a felony to bet a race over the Internet from Arizona.
We have home market areas that are 10 hour drives from a racetrack.
We expect customers to open seven different betting accounts to play our sport.
We get a report from a respected University telling us that an ideal takeout rate to maximize our revenue is 7%, but charge 20%.
We charge people for racing data and past performances. Like McDonald's charging $2 to look at their menu.
We can't decide if racetrack is one word or two.
We think rebated players stick their rebates in a sock.
We settle a positive test that happened in 2006, in 2008, and expect no one to notice.
When anyone mentions the thought of the sport hiring a commissioner it is met with unbridled laughter.
We watch some trainers regularly drop 4 seconds off a horse in a week and expect the public to believe it is the shoeing.
We pay for a gambling expert to give us guidance, he writes a 100 page detailed report, and we ignore all his recommendations.
We see that advance deposit wagering is the only growth segment in racing and immediately try and take more of the revenue; which would result in destroying the only growth segment in racing.
We retire our sports stars at the age of 3 so they can have sex, and expect the sport's fan base to grow.
We think that lowering a price will result in less revenue.
We give slap on the wrist penalties to rule breakers, then wonder why good people don't want to invest in racing.
We do little to help retired racehorses, then get mad at the public when they don't want to support horseracing after they see a news report on a former Kentucky Derby winner being slaughtered.
We have rules that say you can't kick a horse or whip him where the sun don't shine, but we never enforce them.
We call our customers "disgruntled gamblers".
And with all of the above, after the business goes downhill, we go cap in hand to government looking for money, blaming it on offshore competition, or lotteries.
Only in racing. It is one bizarre business.