The quotes from the meeting, from a customer perspective, are pretty curious. And that's putting it mildly.
In terms of the takeout hike, which has helped result in hundreds of millions in handle losses so far, owner Mike Pegram said "I am not willing to take an 18% pay cut". That was an interesting comment, because with handle losses continuing, I don't think we need a masters in math to figure the pay cut is going to come on its own.
In other news, the horsemen group appears to want to block low takeout (and very popular) exchange wagering, unless the takeout is sky-high (among other things that have been studied for years already).
"On a different matter, Pegram said the TOC will not support the implementation of exchange wagering in 2012, unless issues regarding to “cannibalization, [prevention] of corruption, and the takeout rate” are addressed."
In the past, the horsemen group of record in the state has not allowed rebating to in-state customers (so bettors can get a fair shake and enjoy the racing game more), and have had a punishing signal fee structure. They have also curbed out of state simo races, which give customers choice and also allow them to be happier bettors.
- A takeout increase occurred, which customers do not like.
- Exchange wagering, which customers like, is likely going to be rejected
- Rebates, that allow for in-state customers to be on a level playing field with out of state customers, and help them enjoy the sport more, continue to be banned
- Betting choice, which customers like, is being resisted.
I'm glad I made the decision to not bet a single penny on their racing product this year. With headlines like the above, it'll be a hell of a long time before I do.