In the case of gold and other precious metals - the current hedge against paper risk - the floodgates that opened were welcomed by investors.
ETF's, or exchange traded funds, have been around for some time. No longer do you have to own a warehouse, and hire a security team to store and own the bricks. And it's worldwide.
- Physical metal-backed exchange-traded funds sparked a "sea change" in platinum and palladium markets by bringing in investors who otherwise wouldn't have bought the metal. Physical platinum, palladium ETFs remove investment barriers for Europe- based buyers.
Conversely, what we see in horse racing has been the exact opposite. We have tracks protecting a signal from offshore's like it's platinum. We have tracks trying to operate their own ADWs under arcane rules and little marketing - like somehow people will flock to open an account and bet our sport with both fists.
Here is a popular ADW and what strangeholds them in trying to do business. It's their residency requirement.
You can buy an ounce of platinum, that was mined in northern Russia, stored in the south of France, all while sitting behind a computer screen in your pajama's in Arizona. But if you want to make a horse bet, you have to jump through a hoop that a dolphin looking for a fish would. And even then you'd be likely not be able to, for some strange reason.
Unless racing opens its markets, and creates products and a delivery system that welcomes customers - and doesn't discourage them - the rest of the world will continue to leave us in their wake.