I have received a few good comments here. I thank everyone who offered an opinion - good or bad.
In the posts below I have been tough on the industry, its revenue models, its infighting, its finger-in-the-pie economics, its old-time thinking in a 21st century world. I just want folks to know I am not alone in these beliefs. I am bringing them out to people who maybe have not heard too much about them, in going through their every day hard-working lives. Like them or not, they are my opinion.
To illustrate the posts below on slots and the business, here are some quotes from a bloodhorse article today on changing racing. It is entitled "No Joke, Pricing Changes Planned". In essence, the powers that be in racing want to completely overhaul what tracks charge and what revenue goes to who.
“The racing industry has a habit of setting fire to its hair and trying to put it out with a hammer,” said Ed Martin, president of the Association of Racing Commissioners International.
“We are dysfunctional,” said Nick Coukos, executive director of the Ontario Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and secretary/treasurer of the National HBPA. “We have been for a long time and probably will continue to be. For whatever reason, we can’t get our act together.”
“My experience in 20 years is the worst enemy of the pari-mutuel industry is the pari-mutuel industry,” said Florida Sen. Steven Geller, who suggested the legislature could give the industry a $100-million tax break, and its factions would do nothing but fight over how to split the money.
Take a read of the article. What we have are the people who have been in charge of this mess trying to be the ones to fix it, they are even talking about charging higher prices for things like standardbred racing.
There is a desire to charge non-Thoroughbred outlets such as Standardbred, Quarter Horse, and Greyhound tracks higher host fees.
In my opinion, and this is the crux of my blog posts on this subject: They do not have the ability to fix it.
Read the article.
OK, time for a quiz: How many times was the customer mentioned?
That's correct. Zero times.
We need a serious business lesson. Someone with knowledge of betting markets, knowledge of customers, knowledge of the power of the internet, has to step in, or be appointed. Every time I read something about folks in racing trying to fix something it is about splitting the existing pie between tracks, horseman, and providers - followed usually by a whole lot of yelling and screaming. It never says a word about high prices and helping the bettor.
Until we help the bettor and our dwindling customer base, this business can not grow, in my opinion.
After reading the article I know one thing. We are dysfunctional, so I agree with the man from the HBPA.
And I have not seen anyone out there with the credentials, business sense, or gravitas to fix it.
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