For the bizarreness, bizarrability (or other word that probably is not a word) of racing, check out Ryan Conley's article at the Bloodhorse.
In effect, Betamerica.com was giving out a 3% rebate as a promotion for Santa Anita races. But this was struck down to 2% by the horseman group in California (so they say here):
BetAmerica Wager Rewards
*** Special Notice about our Santa Anita January Rewards ***
Our right to carry racing on Santa Anita requires that we receive the consent of the race track and of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, the horseman’s group at Santa Anita. The Thoroughbred Owners of California notified us this week that it is their policy not to allow any marketing incentives on a California thoroughbred race track in excess of 2% of the amount wagered. As a result, we have reduced our January Santa Anita Rewards promotion from 3% to 2% for the balance of January.
This is like a Wal Mart having a sale on wooden lawn chairs, and the logging company who cut down the tree telling them they can't.
Only in racing.
In Conley's article it seems in our bizarrily, bizzare business, we don't even know if we are allowed to have a sale; something that capitalist businesses have used to grow since 2 for 1 sales on beaver pelts.
Cash-reward rebates in racing are regarded by some in the industry as no different than other “cash-back” programs offered by many retail/service entities, such as in automobile sales, and are lauded by some as ways to retain large churn in pari-mutuel pools.
Here’s a fact: Some domestic advance deposit wagering outlets are openly offering cash rebates to customers that wager on California racing signals.
Now, here’s a question: Is this legal?
And here’s the answer: Nobody really knows for sure.
When the aforementioned sons and daughters of all of us start taking their MBA, all they will need is this article to answer what is wrong with racing. We can't even have a wagering sale to stimulate handle and fan interest and to explain why, we need lawyers, horseman groups, and a 1500 word article to tell us.
The funniest thing? After reading it, I still have no idea what is going on.