Skip to main content

Gaming Summit

I will have a full report on the gaming summit and wagering conference once I get some time. But today one quote struck me, from Mark Davies, Managing Director of Betfair that I would like to share:

"Empirical evidence around the world undermines that argument (that operators will lose money by lowering takeout) quite dramatically," Davies responded emphatically. "Lower margin is where horse racing has to go in order to compete with all the other sports out there. Even if you are concerned about lower margin, what you should probably throw into the mix are the people who get involved at the margins because of the lower margins."


Yesterday, the quote with the most cajones was Moira Fanning, on a panel of industry insiders, speaking to industry insiders:

Moira Fanning, Director of Publicity for The Hambletonian Society, was a panelist in this session, and she admonished attendees to quit referring to harness racing as a sport.

“It’s a gaming product, so let’s call it what it is,” Fanning said. “It’s not a sport.”


Scott Ferguson said…
re Fanning's remarks - Ooh, I bet that went down well!

Gaming implies that it is all luck, which is an insult to bettors. At the very least, it is a wagering product which requires skill to win at the betting part of it. But first and foremost, it is a sport.
Pull the Pocket said…
I think she was right to use that language Scott. With slots, it is a gaming product because slots supply a ton of the purse money. Purse money comes only from two sources - betting and slots. Without either of them, we race for ribbons not money.
Allan said…
Biggest problem in racing? Horsemen caring only about Horsemen and Tracks caring only about Tracks. The latest salvo is the regisnation on Bill O'Donnell from the OHHA over the boards decision to side with the former President who led a failed boycott attempt and cause WEG to decide they will not negotiate with OHHA. With O'Donnell being out, there will never be an agreement with the OHHA and the horsemen will loose in the long run.

Popular posts from this blog

Sword Dancer Shenanigans Proves the Public's Point

Ask any random person who has not watched a horse race, or maybe have seen one or three : "Is horse racing fixed?"

They'll probably say, sure it is; common knowledge.

At that point, racing folks get excited to defend their sport. 99% of the races are clean, there is too much money involved to fix races, etc etc. 

Then we have yesterday's Sword Dancer, where not one of us can blame anyone for thinking like they do about the sport.

It's probably bad enough that a "rabbit" was entered for an old-time form of race fixing, but that the horse was ridden like a quarterhorse made the optics look terrible. That another horse - Roman Approval - had to be physically restrained due to the cowboy style race riding of the horse sent to destroy him, is probably just as bad optically.

But that was just the beginning. The real story had just begun.

At the head of the lane, this rank, spent, heart-ripped out rabbit, needed to do even more work for the 1-9 shot. He had t…

If #harnessracing is Afraid of the Answer......

There's a saying, apparently, from the legal community - never ask a question if you don't know the answer.

Today at the USTA meeting Jason Settlemoir put forth a motion that the USTA ask its membership the feelings on a question regarding slots and marketing. In a nutshell, it asked if a percentage of slot money should go into a slush fund to be spent on marketing and ancillary items to promote and grow the sport.

When the 54 director votes were tallied, the score was 47 to 7..... against.

Yes, the leadership of an organization voted down, in a landslide, asking the grassroots membership a question. 

Sure this seems super-silly, but why they did it, I think, is an easy one. They knew that if they asked the question the answer would be a resounding "yes". Then all hell would break loose. They'd have to try and get that done.

If harness racing is afraid of the answers to questions, they don't ask them. That seems to be the mantra of the sport. And it's p…

PTP's Bathing Index ® Derby Handicapping Angles - This is Much Better than Dosage

Good day racing fans!

It's one week until the Derby, where drunk people, rich people, sororities at almost every University, and others get together to watch, wager, take molly, drink juleps, wear hats, have parking issues, and partake in the annual Kentucky horse racing tradition.

I have scanned the big websites, read almost all social media and was very surprised that there are not a lot of people giving their thoughts on this year's Run for the Roses. It's like no one has an opinion! So in my never ending search for traffic, I decided to pop up a handicapping post. I think this post will help both new fans and old salty handicappers land on a winner.

As most know, physicality is important for handicapping (Leadbetter, et al). A lesser known angle is watching how a horse reacts while getting soapy water thrown on him. As long time handicapper Jessica notes, it can be a key to unlocking Derby betting fortune.


Let's begin with our control group, Kentucky Derby …