Saturday, January 5, 2013

Positive-Negative & a Nice Betting Score

Call it buzz, or branding, or a "good vibe" but it means a lot.

The Meadowlands, this meet, has got that "good vibe" going and it's continuing.  Handle was up 31% year over year yesterday and they've got another sure handle night tonight with a pick 5 pool that should broach $100,000.

Someone with a psychology degree might be able to explain it, but in racing "agglomeration" is infectious. You want to be where people want to be - Del Mar, Saratoga, Keeneland. And it's the same with betting. You want to bet the pick 5 at a place where others are, you want to support the Meadowlands.

On the flipside, remember Santa Anita's opener in 2010? That was post takeout hike (bad buzz) but the internal buzz was all about the "return to dirt". There were many who thought that would result in a huge meet and the press was complicit in that. Of course, that did not happen. The buzz about the "Giants and Dodgers" and the anti-customer vibe trumped it pretty good. It was hard to get back, and in fact, it still hasn't returned.

Tracks and horsemen groups really need to accentuate the positive at all times. If you are planning to do something to kill buzz, stop and think about it. It'll hurt you.

I got a note from a Betfair player today that I found interesting. 
  •  Cork 12:40 Maiden Hurdle this morning in Ireland. Horse making second career start after finishing 11th of 17 at 33-1 in his debut trades at 230 early in the morning, goes off at Betfair at 5.7, wins for fun
Nice. Bet a horse at 230-1 at night, have him go off at about 5-1 and cash. I don't know what happened there, but someone really liked their horse, it appears. The bookies must have taken a bath.

Cynical citizen alert. Stop reading now :)....

Darryl Kaplan looked into the OLG's Bingo expansion and came up with some interesting nuggets. The whole thing - from the initial shock change, to the OLG Bingo changes - all kind of reeks. It just smells. We've gone over that before.

But does it matter?

Really, if the mainstream media picks it up, does the public care, or do they say "oh well, it's government, what do you expect?" And the media? Since when do they dig? They just report what's going on. Some of them are even worse, they carry water for their favorite causes.

Look in the US. An election campaign was just waged where the media and President spoke primarily about taxing rich people to solve problems; to "pay their fair share". That was hyped beyond belief and it was on every TV ad and newspaper column over and over again. Well he won and the new taxes passed. A guy making a million a year had his taxes go up by $172,000. Yippee! Did it solve a problem? Of course not; this is what things look like with rich people paying a boatload more. 

In the spirit of bi-partisanship, his opponent wasn't much better. He told people middle class taxes wouldn't go up with his "plan", probably because he was too scared of being labelled a rich person. 

It's like everything is a ruse. Everything is "sold" to people. The truth doesn't matter one bit and telling the truth to solve a problem certainly won't follow. People don't seem to care. If their guy lies to them they're okay with it. If the other guy does, well he's a liar.

I think it's similar with the slots at racetracks program. Darryl can write, people can get mad and protest, but no one will care. We expect, in this day and age, that government's will probably fudge the details, not tell the truth and the whole truth. That they'll do backroom deals. It is what it is. 

Cynical? Sure. But I think I have seen enough to be.  I don't know what will happen with the slots at racetracks program in Ontario. Right now it's clearly finished. In six months? Maybe there'll be someone new telling us a new story. Will the new story make more sense than the old story? Probably not.

Have a great Saturday everyone.I'll be less cynical after I play some races and watch a little football. Promise.


1 comment:

Eric Poteck said...

Hey cynical guy, where'd the idealist in you go?

I would like to think that in today’s society there is a greater need and demand for transparency. The inter-web has provided a vehicle for realizing such. The 'right' (however you may define right) causes are getting support in a way never previously imagined. Look at what it has done for white collar crime.

If enough people care and band together they can effect change. Tribes are forming. Advocacy is growing. It may be slow, but it can happen.

Although the door is closing on horseracing it still has a chance. I remain a believer that the world’s greatest gambling game will wake up (soon I hope) and ultimately realize its massive potential.

Signed,
Forever Hope Full