The Juxtapositions Keep Juxtaposing

The headlines of today:


This is kind of nothing new. Sports betting is legal in Nevada, and has grown leaps and bounds (up about 100% since 2006), despite only being offered, primarily, in bricks and mortar casinos.

Horse racing, which has had an carve out online since 2006, well, hasn't.

The news isn't all bad, I suppose, as tracks other than Keeneland have had a good fall, with both Belmont and Santa Anita up. In fact, racing outside Keeneland was up the month of October, by about 5%, or over 10% per entry. (gee, I wonder why Keeneland was the outlier; if we read track exec quotes, it's a complete mystery!).

The interesting thing (as we've spoken before here) is that just because sports betting handle is growing, it doesn't (more accurately, shouldn't) mean horse racing handle will tank. It's not that way in Australia, where sports betting has grown from virtually nothing since the year 2000, to over $5B now, while horse racing handles have grown as well.

The difference, is, in my view, that Australia's gamblers have grown in number (inflation and population growth) and gamblers bet both sports and horse racing. This is achieved because both horse racing and sports are treated as gambling games, and offer good betting value for punters - sports betting juice is near what it is here, total horse racing takeout in Australia is about 11%, or half of what it is here. You can also, as a customer, find myriad avenues at various takeout levels to play Australian racing.

In North America, sports betting is offered as value - you'll pay 4.54% juice in Vegas in 2017, just like you'd pay 4.54% juice with Vinny at the pub down the street, in 2017; or 1917 for that matter. Racing, as Bob Elliston and Keeneland illustrate, keeps making the gap in the racing-sports betting value prop wider.

Have a great Breeders' Cup week everyone.

1 comment:

Steve_S said...

The moon was in retrograde for 5 additional days during the Fall Meet at Keeneland this year when compared, year over year, to the lunar calendar in 2016. For serious students of the game, an astrological decrease in handle is both obvious and unsurprising. Mercury will be stronger in the House of Ares for the duration of 2018 generating a significant bump in handle and debunking the whole "customers are sensitive to price" narrative that's been so over-reported these past few weeks.


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