Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The "Big Question" Not Only For Racing, DFS Survey Results Show Trends

"Purses are at record levels, but participation has been falling. What do you think we need to do to get more people - especially younger people - to participate?"

That was a question this morning..... on Golf Channel, to Gary Player.

Golf, like horse racing, has seen good TV ratings for their big events. Sponsorships are excellent, purses are good. This week, 21 year old Jordan Spieth is trying to pull an American Pharoah by winning the British Open after winning the first two legs of the Grand Slam. The game is on the front pages.

But fewer people are playing the game. Golf courses - with ball and club technology - are becoming obsolete, and the vast cost of creating (or lengthening courses) doesn't make much sense. They're talking about big changes - playing nine instead of 18 to speed up the game, changing the ball so it doesn't fly as far, etc.

The discussion going on in golf is very horse racing. However, with a few cooks in the kitchen, that all seem to be working on the same recipe, it's likely they will make progress before horse racing does on these type issues.

The results of a comprehensive Daily Fantasy Sports survey were released yesterday.


DFS is primarily young, fairly affluent, and male.

If poker and sports betting were legalized, a large percentage would not leave DFS.

The betting handle curve per player is skewed not unlike horse racing. A small percentage is playing a lot, but most are playing small. This is why these companies (quite well I might add) are looking at ways to cultivate their customers. Encouraging them to play better, and win more.

It's growing rapidly.

And, Draft Kings is right to be going after poker players.

It's the last one that is a little worrisome for horse racing. As Cal Spears, the owner of an online poker community website said, both poker and DFS players are “critical thinkers with expendable income and an affinity for skill-games.”, and they are coalescing around the two games. There is only so much time in a day, and if those players are spending time on poker and DFS, it's problematic.

What this demographic shows is that they're there because of data and a love of being able to beat a skill game. Those are two things that horse racing has trouble with.

Have a super nice day everyone.

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