Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What's Up With Jersey Racing?

Anyone know?

Monmouth's handle was up for the thoroughbreds. Now out this week, the Meadowlands handle was up for harness. All I can think of is two things: 1) Jersey has to work extra hard for revenues since they have no slots, thus the hard work is paying off (same with Hawthorne handles) and 2) They are available virtually everywhere, to all ADW's and rebate shops. I know a couple folks who play the M at rebate shops, and they are not small bettors. Whatever the reason, it is good to see.

Allan noted this article in terms of Ocean Downs - fight club II. Horseman are shutting down simulcasting because of the backstretch closing.

For those who have not been following it, the horseman association in Ontario has backed off on their boycott. It was not well received by horseman (they continued to enter). Woodbine responded today that they are happy that racing is ongoing, and that the horseman appear to be in favour of them trying to clean up racing at their track.

Last up, all them social media types tell you to respond to posts when you want people to notice you. I do not do that enough, or maybe don't care since this is not a business or anything - I read ten or fifteen posts a day and rarely say a word. But it does work. Today I read a commenter here for the first time, Power Cap, and he seemed to have some good thoughts. I clicked his name and found his blog. He has some good posts up there. One of them was a very good piece on Las Vegas and how they cater to gamblers. It is well worth a read.

1 comment:

Allan said...

All is not well in NJ. Purses have been kept artifically high thanks to a subsidy from the racing industry to keep the tracks from trying to get slots. This has been going on for awhile. Thanks to the artificially high purses, good horses race in NJ and bettors notice them.

Up to last year, this has been the case with Freehold. Pennwood (which owns Freehold and one of the partners are Penn National Gaming) was cut out of the negotiations this past cycle and the rules were changed. In the past, the racetracks had to agree to no slots at the tracks; this time, the owners of the tracks are barred from seeking slots any where in NJ. For a gaming company, this was not acceptable and Pennwood refused to sign.

As a result, Freehold who you can argue would be an A track has overpaid purses considerebly last year and has started this year with a 25% purse cut. The horsemen were screaming towards the end of last year when Freehold didn't accept the subsidies and wanted the racing commission to deny them race dates. The racing commission, to their credit, realized you can't force anyone to accept an agreement they didn't negotiate granted the race dates for this year. This was another case where horsemen and track owners were not working together.

Bottom line is what was a very good track (their Saturday horses could compete anywhere) will likely have cheaper horses racing there and a track which has survived for many years is in jeopardy.

Don't kid yourself. The tracks in NJ depend on welfare (or blackmail money) from the casinos to survice. Racing in NJ is on life support despite what the betting numbers are saying.