I saw an email from a colleague this past weekend. She was at Arlington and was pretty impressed with the crowd. She was a little surprised, as some people have clearly withheld their wagering from Arlington as part of a CDI "boycott". She figured, certainly on this day, that it wasn't working very well.
When the final numbers were tallied, Arlington Park's handle year over year was down about 25%.
I saw a tweet on Sunday from Crunk. "Easily 20k at MTH today. Lines for the food trucks, bathrooms & pony
rides insane. Only place you won't find lines is at the mutual windows."
I see big crowds at places like Santa Anita and elsewhere, with few betting dollars.
I see Churchill Downs spending piles of money on a big board, and advertising and whatnot. Then I look at their handle numbers this meet for every day racing.
Racing spends a lot of money getting people in the door, and a lot of that money seems to be working. But these folks are not betting.
Going after people like this is a different story. Racing does not spend the necessary time, effort or policy driven change to cater to them.
Racing is selling people on-track with food trucks, and I guess that's ok if they are hungry for a falafel, or big fans of the Food Network. But at the present time, they aren't hungry to bet. The people who might be are continually ignored due to racing's systemic structure and wonderment at whom their true betting customers are.
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