Monday, July 19, 2010

How Do You Grow with 35% Takeouts?

You don't.

At least that is what Pocono Downs thinks, as they have lowered their takeout on tris and supers from an insane 35% to 25%.

"Our fans have been asking that we do so in order that they collect more on those winning tickets," they said in a release today.

Pocono (and other Pennsylvania tracks) are all slots driven, yet despite that, they charge punishing takeouts. To make matters worse, these tracks sell shot machines just down the hall from the tellers which have takes at less than 5%. Not surprisingly, Pocono's handle is microscopic. On chat boards especially, Pocono (and Chester as well) are laughing stocks, and favorite whipping boys for players. When the Breeders Crown was announced to be held at Pocono more than one player said they would not touch the product with these takeouts.

By cutting the take to a still very poor 25%, at least they are recognizing that slots are not just for purses. They have a long way to go to gain horseplayer respect, but for the poster track for what many consider the ills of racing, they are at least trying. I would not expect handles to do too much here because of the history of the track and their high take, but at the very least horseplayers who hit the tris and supers will have a little more cash to put through the windows.

The Meadowlands Pace, which took place Saturday proved once again the division is wide open. Rock n' Roll Heaven raced way-to-good to lose and right now on paper seems to be the most talented. But, after the North America Cup, that can change in a heartbeat in the division. If you want parity, it looks like you have it.

I might be nuts - and probably am - but I still think the best pacer in this division is All Speed Hanover. When he gets his kinks ironed out, and the others are starting to lose a step, he might have a huge second half. There are no superstars in this division, I believe.

2 comments:

The_Knight_Sky said...

Slots Lunatics!
I had mentioned here that I might be making a trek to Pocono Downs for the Breeders Crown, but if this is the kind of nonsense and irreverence that is being put forth by the management, I am officially canceling my trip.

What is the WPS and ex/dd takeouts at Pocono Downs ?

And what are the minimum takes allowed by Harrisburg ?

JLB said...

The Breeders' Crown event should be interesting as well because there is a severe shortage of covered seating at Pocono. If the weather is cool or rainy, alot of people will be very uncomfortable. And the dining room, which figures to be jammed, offered me friendly service but distinctly unimpressive food on a recent visit. This was a surprise, because I visited soon after the dining room opened (the grandstand had not even been renovated yet), and enjoyed a well-above-average meal at extremely reasonable prices.