Oh if it was only like that here, we heard, as we often do.
That's probably about to change. Japan is ready to pass a casino bill, and it's expansive. The market which primarily is racing oriented (with a dash of some game called Pachinko - which I thought was the Price is Right game, but it's not), will no longer be, in the coming years.
In North America, there is so much competition for the horse bettor it ain't even funny.
I spoke to a friend last week who was playing a real money game with head to head fantasy football. In a couple of weeks at the Super Bowl, magic squares games, and other bets will surface at bars, at parties or on the web, near you.
Years ago, I worked a little for a start-up that was making real money head-to-head video games a reality. How's that for getting at a younger demo.
This competition is ingrained in the fabric of North American society. I was watching that show last week with the Magnum PI dude who fights crime. Near the end of the show - after fighting crime - he an associate sat watching the football game together because she "had $1000 on the Saints".
Competition is here, it's real and it is not going anywhere.
The litany of reasons racing has not been able to compete in North America have been discussed. But what tends to amaze me is the sport's response to it. Rarely is there a "let's go get them" mentality. Maybe the industry is unable, or its beaten down, or the slots lifeline allows tracks to add an "h" to the word slot, if they have them.
In Jersey this week, exchange wagering has been passed and it will be up and running this summer (only for New Jersey residents, mind you). It went through the usual criticisms, mainly from industry stakeholders regarding "their share of the pie". This is long overdue, but at least it's a step in the right direction. Expanding the way your game can be played and opening up newer markets is clearly something that football, or video games, or sports betting or lotteries, or poker has done for a decade or more. It's about time racing tried something to counter it.
|Who has two thumbs and dresses better than McKee? JHO!|
Here's Justin sporting a look on the set of the Meadowlands pre-game show last month. "He pulled out the big gun" said the Knight Sky Blog's Norm who snapped this picture. "It was a Ralph Lauren jacket, I am sure of it, and I think it cost more than Jeff Gural's butler's salary for a month" he noted.
Sam McKee, who clearly has nowhere near the style of the talented, finger-on-the-pulse of fashion-sense JHO, has been trying.
"That morning I knew Justin was going to be on. I don't know what to shop for to compete, but I do know a barber in Secaucus. I took JHO's picture in and for $12, he cut my hair exactly like his. People think I am his less well-dressed brother," said the voice (well, one half of the voice) of the Meadowlands.
Two minutes for looking so good, JHO.
Enjoy your day everyone!