A quick note about Horseplayer Interactive and what they have been up to. First, I mentioned before that they have added free Bris stats and picks for all thoroughbred cards. They are giving members information, for free, to help them handicap. There are some solid stats and angles in this information.
Further, they have added Compubet stats for harness cards. This too is for free.
The HPI brand has taken its share of knocks from horseplayers, and this is a problem. But offering players some tools to encourage them to bet is a good thing. It is a rebranding step.
Secondly, a comment I noticed below asking a question:
Should the harness racing industry in North America allow Betfair to come in and offer harness racing? How would it work, if so?
I believe that Betfair offering a harness racing element is a good thing (if they did it like in Australia where they act as an ADW and you can bet into pools too), but it would be much better if we did it ourselves. It involves changing the laws of course, but that should not be as difficult as it is made out. For instance, there is more and more sports betting offered and more and more lotteries offered. Years ago there was no Hold em Poker at casinos as well. If the government expects horse racing to compete with casinos who are using 21st century games and delivery, they can not leave us to battle with them using an outdated 19th century pari-mutuel system. It is like bringing a spear from the 100 Years War against a stealth bomber of today.
It is definitely something that does stick in my craw. We often go to State houses or governments for things that have nothing to do with our core sport. We go for nothing more than a handout. It sucks. I wish we'd go to them wanting to grow our game - not sports betting, or slots, or table games - but grow racing. Why do they always go and ask for things that will suck money from handles? We suffer from a lack of vision.
I think we should get a betting exchange platform passed as soon as we can. In addition we should pass fractional betting and completely overhaul our pari-mutuel betting at the same time. We can bring it to a 2008 world, in my opinion. It takes some will, some money and some fight.
Sermon over; and just my opinion :)