Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Proactive Prose at Paulick & a Deep Question

I felt early on that the format change at Paulick would hurt discussion. If the comments there are any indication, that looks wrong. Some of the comments on the story about California, their takeout hike and the handles, are very good. There is so little name-calling, it sticks out. And there are some tough questions being asked.

One such poster, "Death Spiral" might be the sharpest poster I have read. His quips are "O_Crunk" like, and his knowledge is beyond criticism. In his most recent post, he asks a question, and in a few lines he asks a question that cuts to the chase more than any I have read, regarding horseplayers and the California Horse Racing board:

Why does HANA have a World Bank economist PhD advising them on takeout issues, and the CHRB has Bo Derek? In what world does that not only make sense to people, but it doesn't even draw any comments from the press?

As a CA resident, one that is disgusted by what the CHRB has done to my states racing -- I'd like someone (RAY) to ask that publicly and have it answered. It's a fairly basic, fundamental question.

Whether you agree with HANA or not, no one can disagree that how things are done in California are ludicrous. And the results of this charade bear it out.

How long are we going to let this go on? And why do people pretend it isn't responsible for killing the industry, when it so obviously is?

I know its not money, CHRB has $12 million dollar budget, HANA has 12 cents.


What he is alluding to of course, is Cal MacWilliam - an economist who has taught at Vanderbilt and Carleton Universities, is a horse owner and former quarter-horse trainer - has been plucked out of the wilderness to be a part of change and HANA. He is currently working with the organization on a white paper where alternative takeout mechanisms can be employed, with hopeful benefit to handles and purses. Meanwhile, making wagering (and voting on them) and economic betting decisions in California is a person like Bo Derek. As a lot of you know, Ms. Derek when speaking with horseplayers at a recent CHRB meeting, thought takeout on slot machines was higher than horse betting takeout. This is not a shot at her - she does wonderful work at horse retirement and other horse owner issues and is an asset - it is just a shot at the fact that a horse racing group, with no money can find a Phd in economics to help, but the CHRB does not.

There is a lot of chatter out there. Alan over at LATG for example, found time to write a 500 word post today because he does not like the way HANA is purporting the takeout increase (HANA and CG say it is 14.7%, which is the percentage change from 20-23 for example, instead of 3%, and Alan wants 3%), the Thoroughbred Times and the DRF and others have found time to write about California races, people, weather, food prices, what band is playing after the races and everything else. In other words, there are a lot of people writing a whole bunch about HANA and Cali-racing.

Is it not too much to ask them to write about Death Spiral's simple question?

I think it help racing more, because when a Horseplayers Association with no power, with all volunteers and with no money can find a wagering economist to help them, and a board in control of billions of dollars of wagering has someone voting on multi-billion dollar wagering decisions who thinks slots are a worse deal takeout-wise than racing, there is clearly something very, very wrong.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yawn...who friggin' cares? Talk about fiddling while Rome burns. Can't you people see the Big Picture? The horse racing industry is dying nationally. It makes no difference what Bo Derek & Co do or do not. The industry will continue to consolidate until there's just a handful of boutique tracks run for the amusement of The Rich. As for the rest of you whining about takeout percentages, get a life!