For years, consultants and customers have asked for a VLT plan which encompasses the needs of the people who pay the pari-mutuel freight, to grow the sport of horse racing. Up until this point in time, places like Ontario, Pennsylvania (probably the most egregious in their slots planning) and New York pretty much copied each other by using the "if we have purses, people will bet" action plan. This plan, with the blessing of horsemen groups, also believed in putting out the most product (racedays) possible.
If the consultants in Ohio have their way, we might be looking at the first slots plan that wants to respond and cultivate the customer base, and the on-track product:
"CIS in its plan makes recommendations, some of which Murphy advocated
when he was a racing executive in Ohio: consolidation of the live racing
calendar; incentives for horseplayers, including lower pari-mutuel
takeout rates; revision of the Ohio code that governs how simulcast
revenue is paid to purses; adding a turf course at Thistledown, which
had one many years ago; and a plan for racing should VLTs be
The chances of the above coming to fruition, with all our internal fighting for the pie, is probably slim, but it's nice to see someone listening, and at least trying to move the business of racing forward.
We should have some time to take a look at the elims for the M pace tomorrow.
HANA's racetrack rankings are out. Woodbine, with a reduction of takeout, decent field size moved up again this year to 23rd. It's stunning to watch the corporate culture change there. Truly stunning. And horseplayers seem willing, after some time, to give them another chance.
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