Gaming Conference Yields Some Quotes

This from Joe Brennan Junior, Chairman of the Interactive Media and Gaming Association:
  • What the racing industry has decided to do is to stand up and thwart history," Brennan said. "The public has spoken. This disruption has already happened (despite a difficult political and economic environment). To try to stand in front of the disruption when it has already happened is counterproductive."
  • "You should be leading this (effort)," Brennan said, noting horse racing current exclusivity with legal online wagering. "I've asked this question many times: Why aren't you leading this? The Internet didn't happen last year. You've had six years. What are you waiting for?
As we've spoke about before, and many of you who've followed gambling, are gamblers, or are interested in it, have echoed it in the comments section, he's pretty much right on. Racing has had a near monopoly on betting over the internet (well, in at least 38 states anyway), and it seems to still be behind.

Could you imagine if in 1960 congress passed a law that stated only NHL Hockey - and no other sport - could be shown on television? One would expect hockey to thrive. 

I had a chat last week with an industry person who is more than upset with what racing has done with things like takeout. He said (paraphrasing), "if racing took over casino gambling, they'd raise takeouts to 30% like superfectas, and then when within six months when no one comes to casinos, they'd conclude people don't like casino gambling anymore."

It's kind of the same way with online horse betting. People love to gamble online, and have for 15 years. It's a huge industry, yet racing (although we have seen growth, it can be argued most of it internal growth) has not capitalized.

The reason, in my opinion, is because we have not offered a product people want to consume, and have not diversified, or tried to with new forms of betting, or new betting on other avenues.

For evidence of that I submit the year that the Internet gaming act was passed which banned funding online gaming accounts. And further, the ban of online poker sites on "Black Friday". Those in racing thought banning online competition that was illegal would be helpful to racing. After all, if you're the only game in town now, you'd have to peel off some gamblers, no? It didn't happen.

For whatever reason, probably a combination of price, convenience and state interference, racing is behind, and will remain behind the eight ball. It is not offering an online product that people have grown accustomed to. 

Yesterday it was confirmed that the Odds On folks will be appealing the decision at the Red Mile Saturday. I hope they win, they deserve to. That little colt, in my opinion, will be the best three year old in harness racing next year. 

I read yesterday that the OMFRA committee that is tasked with recommending a restructuring of horse racing in Ontario wants more time. No kidding. "Let's completely dismantle a multi-billion dollar industry, let's change the slots landscape by relocating and renegotiating slots deals across a province with 13 million people that is about six times the size of New York State, let's change 17 racetracks..... and let's do it in twelve months. The timelines were what we expect from government nowadays - messed up.

Riding on the coattails: Woodbine's pick 4 pool last night was over $100,000. The pick 4 has become, thanks to the Meadowlands, a staple in harness racing. Almost every track offers a cheap rake and pushes the wager. Woodbine has coasted along, getting positive buzz. I bet people think they're getting a good rake deal, just like all the other tracks, but they aren't. Woodbine's pick 4 rake is huge.

What a difference a dozen years make. In NM and LA, frog juice positive trainers (a class I) have been suspended years upon years. In 1998 (or 1999) one of these trainers who received a class I at that time got seven months.

Paulick was at the frog juice hearings and noted there was something interesting about lawyered up trainers, versus those who were not being represented. 

Have a nice Tuesday everyone.

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