NYRA Takeout Situation - The Plot Thickens

There's one thing about social media, it's tough to hide.

This evening there is quite the discussion about NYRA being ordered to pay back bettors for not lowering the takeout in September of 2010. The initial narrative was that the provision in the clause was very complex, so giving them a pass might be in order, but it turns out (as I noted earlier) the section itself really wasn't.

Alan at LATG tonight:

"Section 32 above actually isn't all that complex. In fact, it's relatively straightforward"

and he quoted the section.

Alan also noted that The Thoroughbred Times had a story that talked about the sunset provision in it.

So, people seemed to know.

But here's where it gets really interesting. A frequent poster on Paceadvantage (I have read him for awhile on there and chatted back and forth with him several times), has been dogged on this issue for some time.

Tonight he posts:

"On January 8, 2011 I e-mailed the NYSRWB about NYRA’s takeout on some wagers being outside of the parameters of the law. I never received a response. "

"I also emailed NYRA in April, 2010 and July 2010 asking them about the takeout, but I did not receive a response. And in August 2010, I commented on Steven Crist’s blog about the “1% NYC OTB takeout increase sunseting” and NYRA takeout being outside the parameters of the NYS law. While he did not post my comment he did send me a e-mail acknowledging the sunset provision went in effect and that NYRA could ask for lower takeout if they wished. I do not know if he discussed it with anybody at NYRA but he does know Charles Hayward personally."

He posted a couple times in 2010 and early 2011 on Pace asking when the takeout will be reduced, as well. I remember reading both posts at the time he posted them (they're linked on that thread).

If bettors figured it out on a chat board and posted about it several times, it looks like we might put to bed the "it was too complex" theory. But if this poster above is telling the truth, and he seems to be credible in my opinion, not only did the bettors figure it out, but one of them emailed NYRA and the NYSRWB to tell them about it, as far back as spring 2010.

It appears this story is far from over.

Update via Frank Angst at the TT -


Alan Mann said...

Nice work here on the Paceadvantage poster. Oh man...

If the takeout on a pool as transparent as the NYRA Pick Six can go awry for so long, how can the betting public be confident that other tracks aren't skimming a point or two off the top of far more obscure pools, whether accidentally or not? I would think that the NYSRWB auditors will be busy doublechecking their work over the next few days/weeks.

JerseyTom said...

Thanks for the background on this. I agree it will get uglier.

Pull the Pocket said...

Hey Alan,

I am not sure I am too worried about that, but maybe I am way wrong.

This was a weird thing that seems be so New York state and maybe it says more about racing than anything we've seen.

A lot, for example, knew about the sunset clause - I did; I read those posts by Rutgers and spoke about it, too. But I did the same thing as most others - I assumed they just quietly rolled over the takeout increase and made it permanent without telling anyone.

That's what tends to happen in racing: Do something, don't tell anyone, and be as non-transparent as possible, hoping it goes away.

Takeout rates and other rules (via states and tracks) are different as we all know, and there is NO LAW that states they have to be published in the form or in their programs.

Places like HANA are trying to change these rules and make them more customer friendly. The gelding reporting situation in Cali is a good example of that, which is currently being discussed.

Anyhow, let's see what happens.

Thanks for the comment, and as usual, well done on your blog.

Tom: Are you writing something for the BH on the story? I'd love to see some insider quotes on this.


Anonymous said...

Alan: Please contact me. jodato@timesunion.com


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