Sunday, February 24, 2008

These Guys Just Don't Get It

Some news and views by some, who clearly don't get it. I thought I would share these views so we can all have a laugh.Don't worry, at the end of the piece, I give credit to those that do get it.

Jamaica. Sounds like a decent spot to visit. It seems there is horse racing there. The current head of a horse racing organization there has some ideas, and wrote them in an editorial in a newspaper.

Some snippets:

One study of 24 racing jurisdictions done over 15 years shows conclusively that the profitability of track operations varies inversely with the takeout rate, because a lower takeout rate "stimulates a larger handle of which the track retains a fixed proportion".

That study concluded that at the average takeout rate of 15 per cent track revenues would be 60 per cent greater than if the take out were 20 per cent.

Other studies have shown that a decrease in the price of wagering tends to increase race track attendance and, therefore, "the total amount of dollars available for distribution for purses, etc"

A couple more:

Claiming races are not product-enhancing. They do not represent an attractive alternative to other forms of gaming and/or recreation, nor do they enhance patron interest.

The integrity of the activity must be of the highest level - consistent and firm stewardship, stringent drug testing accompanied by prompt judgement - not the six to 12-month delay that seems to be the norm now.

The promoters, regulators and horsemen must undertake education programmes specifically directed at attracting new patrons.

Ok, integrity, lower prices, and attracting customers. Wow, he clearly must be from Jamaica, because he sure as hell ain't from here.

ESPN's Randy Moss wants racing to put slot cash into well, racing. Another radical idea.

But what happens when slots are finally approved?

The state gets a financial windfall. Horsemen get a financial windfall through a huge purse boost. The owners of the tracks -- or shareholders, where applicable -- also laugh all the way to the bank.

And the crusade to "save the sport" usually ends there.

An unprecedented opportunity to reinvent a struggling sport is circling the drain, but it isn't too late.

And he must of taken Economics in school, because he brings up that wacky supply-demand curve.

Track owners also do not take advantage of the increased revenue flow to convince horsemen and legislators to slash racing dates, even though too much racing is perhaps the major problem facing the sport in this country.

Randy clearly has no place in racing. We must put half of all slots revenue for purses, and half for the tracks. If there is any excess cash, we must fight about it. If anyone wants to cut racing dates we must strike. We have to keep forty-seven dollar claimers racing 47 times a week. It's our right, dammit. Crazy ideas using some of that money to attract fans in your core sport and crafting a supply-side business plan to grow is completely wrong. What a weenie.

Meanwhile the sports establishment was busy hand-wringing about racings problems this week at the big meeting. These are the folks in charge. They are racing. Thank god for them, and not knuckleheads like Moss and Hamilton above. These folks, unlike them, clearly get it.

Here was the stunning headline from day two::

Gaming boosts revenue, does not create racing fans, panel says

Boy, Ben Matlock must have showed up this year to uncover that mystery. You mean the empty grandstands are not due to prohibitive fire-safety regulations?

Don't worry, there are more revelations of epic proportions, like this:

Revenue from expanded gaming helps fund capital improvements at racetracks and fatten purses from horsemen, but handle on racing has not increased and there is very little crossover between slots players and horseplayers.

Wow, who knew?!

I look forward to next year's meeting where they talk about young people playing video games instead of going to the track.

That's it for this Sunday. Just another week around racing.

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