Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Whipping Change at Woodbine & the Old Argument

Be prepared for something different starting Thursday when watching the races.

The Ontario Racing Commission has announced that for a two week period starting Thursday, April 9 the drivers at Woodbine Racetrack will be required to drive the entire mile with a line in each hand.

Let's hope if drivers try other edges it is watched for. Regardless, it should be interesting to see this change, and how it is perceived.

In other Woodbine news, they are still on the ban online wagering bandwagon. I assume because they want relief of some sort from government. This $200 million dollar figure they throw around gives me a slight chuckle. Where did they get that number from? Who knows. All I do know is that in 1999 Sony Music had the same stance ("Well, we didn't want to see the future." said [Sony's lawyer] Mr. Gordon. It turns out the strategy was to sue, not partner and realize the world changed), and we all know how that turned out. As Cangamble noted, I do like this spaghetti analogy by a gaming analyst:

Holmes made her point in an effort to prod lawmakers into creating stiff barriers against online casinos. But OCA gaming analyst Sherman Bradley interprets the data in a different way.

"If you sell spaghetti out of can, and then people desert you and flock to a restaurant that sells awesome homemade spaghetti, it wouldn't make sense to ask legislators to ban homemade sauce. Instead, you'd have to find ways to upgrade your product," said Bradley.


What Sherman does not know is that in racing it is much easier to ask for government help rather than work on our product. This has happened virtually everywhere since the late 1990's and it has snowballed, resulting in stagnating handle and a non-energized customer base.

2 comments:

Allan said...

I beleive online casinos are something that racetracks can never compete against unless we go to virtual horseracing; their position is justified.

That being said, rather than an outright ban; I would propose a ban with a sunset provision of five years; at the end of five years the ban is removed. That will give the racing industry five years to figure out a way to compete or at least co-exist with the on-line casinos (like create your own on-line casions).

Allan said...

Just a quick comment about whipping. I never realized it before but over the last couple of days watching racing from The Meadowlands, I couldn't help but notice the race calls included references to the use of the whip. One would think with all the controversy, race calls would de-emphasize the use of the whip.