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Disappointing Start For Horseplayers In Ontario

As almost everyone knows, there is a restructure going on with Ontario horse racing. The Ontario government killed slots, then kind of killed slots, then gave horse racing some money, then they gave horse racing some more money. They closed tracks, reopened some, created an "Alliance" of eight tracks.

Follow all that?

What we've seen done, from the Ontario racing umbrella, has been very insider focused. Tracks like Grand River Raceway, on their own, lowered takeout to try and build their brand. Woodbine thoroughbreds have lowered their win and tri take. So there is something happening on the demand side (the thing the government says they care so much about), but it's not much.

Today we saw another little salvo announced. "Home market areas" aka the most ridiculous thing ever invented (in my opinion at least) have been disbanded for internet wagering. 
  •  * Ontario Residents (excluding Weatern Fair home market area) receive the high TOA percentage and 1.5 points when wagering on Ontario Alliance track (Woodbine, Mohawk, Georgian, Flamboro, Grand River, The Raceway at Western Fair, Clinton and Hanover) live races.
This is good news, but such a small thing. Now if you bet huge, the crazy tri takeout at Flamboro won't be crazy anymore, it'll only be 98% nuts.

Ontario has a chance - a real chance - to change the way horse racing, as a betting game, is bet. Woodbine has shown little imagination in running betting over the years, they have to be considered out of the running as calling the shots. Small tracks don't have the power. What's left? The government. They've guided racing through the bog on money for purses, alliances, racedates and everything under the sun. Let them take the reins on betting, and do something that isn't a tweak, but real reform based on science, statistics and modern gambling economics.



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