Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Couple of Things I Found Interesting....

.... but then again I am bored, so maybe they ain't. No one is at work, so I am not at work. I love the holiday season.

Anyhoo:

I found this hilarious: "GreenbutGame (I can't find it now but her site is great anyway) had a post a while back where she commented on how she receives multiple Google search hits a day from people looking for 'naked pictures of Chantal Sutherland.'"

I am combing through this month's Trot mag. It is the Holiday issue, and in it there are scores of horsepeople wishing everyone a happy one. I read virtually all of the best wishes ads. One of them caught my eye. In a game that is unwilling to change we rarely see anything from the grassroots about changing it. One ad said this: "My thought for 2009: We can not adopt the way of racing that was satisfactory twenty years ago. The world in which we live in has changed and we must change with it." I said, wow, what a nice thought.... who is this guy? When I check the name I find out he is one of our stable's trainers. I wonder who found who?

A profile of the young fella was highlighted on a sports network recently. I think one of our horses snouts made the clip. He was probably looking for carrots, the oinker.



I am still amazed at this piece, because it is so mind-boggling. The Massachusetts state lottery has tested takeout levels for the freaking lottery. They found out when they lower takeout they make more money. Like, duh. I can not believe we don't do a thing, other than raise it. Then we wonder where the players went. When a lottery is being more proactive on pricing than us, we should be very frightened.

Last but not least, I just made a bet on Flirtini at Hawthorne. I got beat out on the wire by a horse called "Ripe Tomato". I don't mind getting beaten by horses with kick ass names, like Super Ninja, Slayer, Crush em Bob or The Eliminator. But Ripe Tomato? Man that sucks.

4 comments:

Valerie said...

See, that's what you sleazy harness people get! At least it wasn't Rotten Tomato :)

Did you hear anymore about the condition of Deweycheatumnhowe after the traffic accident earlier this week? I guess he was on his way to stud duty...maybe it was a "sign"...stay in training

Allan said...

While I agree the takeout should be reduced, we still need to address the cost of putting on a race: The cost of the facilities (track, stables, building, etc.); Purses; Salaries; Insurance. The cost for the facilities goes on 365 days a year, even if they are not racing.

The lottery has expenses of office space, salaries and insurance. I dare say it is easier for a lottery to cut the takeout.

Casinos have higher expenses than a racetrack and they have a lower takeout, but they have the built in advantage of churn; after all how long does it take to push a button on a slot machine or play a hand of black jack. The nature of racing does not permit this type of speedy churn.

The question remains, how does a racetrack cover these expenses without a high takeout?

Pull the Pocket said...

Valerie,

Nothing new that I have heard, but it appears he is a-ok. Ray has a bond with that horse. What a tough horse (if it was worse) to lose - from a car accident! Thank goodness.

Allan,

You answered your own question - churn. Lotteries tried it, we have not. Other places have. There will be 4 million dollars bet on a race in the win pool at betfair today at 5% takeout. We're lucky to get $50,000 in that same pool.

As for the "paying for stuff", that is an average cost pricing model. It is made for monopolies. We are not one any longer, but price like one.

We know takeout matters but don't do anything. As for the comments on the link I gave, you can see that some of them think it is because it is simply too hard to do. Too many states, too many groups.

I always get a chuckle. I speak to some in the business and the conversation goes something like this.

Takeout does not matter.
Do you do business with rebate shops?
Yes.
Why?
Because they bet piles of money and we make more money.
Why do they bet piles of money?
Because they are getting lower takeout.
So takeout does matter, then?
No, takeout doesnt matter.

It's like you are Bruce Willis in 12 Monkeys trying to have a rational takeout chat in racing.

Cheers,

PTP

Allan said...

Your point is well taken, but if you look at someone wagering cards at one or two tracks, the churn is not as quick as the casinos; the game is not built that way.

One reason the tracks do business with the rebate shops is that many states have fractured rules that don't allow the tracks to go into the ADW business or limit it. Case in point, NJ state law allows ADW wagering only through a licensed racetrack in NJ and they can only take wagers from NJ residents. If I move one mile further and ended up in NY state, I couldn't have a NJ account. I also suspect they are not allowed to offer rebates.

Being ADWs have lower expenses than a track, I think they should probably pay more to the tracks/purse accounts than they are now. Certainly nothing like the article proposed, but more.

What should happen is let the racetracks join together and form their own ADW which allows you to bet wherever and then they could get a big pie and offer rebates.

We criticize the tracks and rightly so. However, racing commissions refuse to come to the 21st century.