Why, you may ask, would tracks and horsemen do such a thing to their customers, especially one which already has 30% exotic takeouts, millions and millions from slot machines, all in a sport that's bleeding handle? Because they can, and taking more of a shrinking pie is what this business has been
And as the kids say, it's pretty cray cray, because getting a bigger share of the pie for purses has never even been a "problem" for this sport.
Do you know what the UK, Australia and other places get from each dollar wagered for purses? Hong Kong? Much less than the current 7% or more than US racing does. In the UK less than 1% goes to purses, in Australia it is less than 2%. As Steve Crist wrote in the DRF several years ago:
- Though American racehorse owners constantly complain about not getting a sufficient return on investment, in comparison to other countries, we do a pretty efficient job of directing betting commissions back to owners through purses.
Look at this list of states and what you as a customer have to do to be a customer at this big ADW:
When we tell customers "no you can't bet" a not-so-funny thing happens. They don't bet.
Picture the above if Amazon.com or E*Trade or Ebay or iTunes had the same restrictions. We'd probably never even have heard of any of them, or worse, China probably would've created them and taken all the revenues through an offshore network.
In Ontario this past week, one of the government officials who is now in charge of racing in the Province said this: "We discovered the [slots] program had allowed the industry to turn its attention way from its customers — racing fans and horseplayers."
If this official looks south of the border he would see the same thing happening, although it can be argued, it's even worse.