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Customers Are Pretty Low on the Totem Pole

There seems to be a lot of confusion and consternation about Churchill's "sick 6", as Steve Crist framed it. It's new to some people, some don't know the rules, some are just plain upset. Some had no idea they even did this to last weekend's pick 6 pool.

But is this anything new?

When a takeout is hiked, or a bet has money taken out of a pool at a 49% clip like last weekend, the customer is usually the last to know. It's just plain wrong.

Banks in most countries, by law, have to provide written notice of any hidden changes 60 days or more in advance, several times, including ugly pop ups on online banking. Some are even made advertise a change. Monopolies or oligopolies like power companies have to do similar. Anything with a public, or public trust link is held to a pretty high standard by consumers.

In racing, when Woodbine creates a new bet with a high takeout like the pick 5, they are not required to print it on the program, or advertise it on the TV monitors. When Churchill creates a pick 6 with a carryover component, they are not required to tell pick 6 customers that the takeout could be 49% that day; by printing it on tickets, in the program, with Derby packages. This, even though the commission has capped Churchill's takeout rate at 22%, and the 22% rate is in the program.

It shows how far the customer is down the list in this sport. It's funny, because people hand wring, get upset, and scratch their heads wondering why bettors have left for other games. More often than not, the answer is right in front of their noses.


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