The Virtual Kentucky Derby is next week, in place of the Real Kentucky Derby. Thinking out loud on the twitter I surmised (with national TV coverage) why they could not come up with something better to grow the sport, and/or increase revenues (or signups etc). Peter Rotondo of the Breeders' Cup (who knows a thing or two about these television deals) set me straight.
Because nbc has sponsors that they need to work into to some derby programming. And those sponsors aren’t looking for 6 races is in 90 mins....idea makes total sense - see NTRA 2day at the races or the national best seven from the old days....— peter rotondo (@retro411) April 24, 2020
That makes sense. However, I will double down.
Rather than TVG showing haphazard races on NBC Sports on a Saturday, why not Racing Day in America, where we focus on betting. If the tracks could take a moment to work together on off times, maybe six races in an hour - with seeded pools - at three tracks for a National Pick 6 (at $2 naturally). Maybe - if Scott Daruty is on lockdown - a Draftkings or Fanduel game for an hour.
If you've got an hour or 90 minutes when absolutely zero other sports are on, and where people are craving a gamble, why doesn't racing do something to deliver it to them? We've got the NFL Draft tripling gambling revenue, we've got a gambling game and we can't do that?
Moving on in another but similar vein, PEI - Canada's smallest province with just over 100,000 people - reported no COVID positives for the eighth straight day. 26 people have had COVID on the island since February with 24 recovered. None have been community spread and there have been no deaths.New Jersey sportsbook @PlaySugarHouse says both the amount wagered and total number of bets on last night's first round of NFL draft were triple last year's numbers for the entire draft.— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) April 24, 2020
Market growth, increased betting offerings amid pandemic contributed to record handle.
With people craving harness racing and with a COVID matrix like that, why hasn't Charlottetown Driving Park been up and running? If they sold their signal at 5% they'd likely get it (ADW's are craving content) and with no harness racing going on anywhere, they'd be making some money. Anyhow, I have a blog, so WDIK, but if we can't race in that kind of environment, we should probably never open to race again.
With the Elitloppet in Sweden an apparent go over the third week of May (and no harness racing to bet here) I wonder what kind of volume their pick 6 would generate if offered here in North America. Carryovers in the past have allowed pools to reach US$35 million. As you may know, Sweden allows corner stores and lottery outlets to sell this bet to their citizens.
So a good friend emails me yesterday. He and his wife have two boys, aged 17 and 19. Locked down and having nothing to do, the boys are kind of bored, so mom and dad told them (politely) to stop whining and go get a job. They listened and walked down the street to the grocery store where they immediately got hired to stock shelves; 25 hours a week at a premium of $15 an hour (lots of these places are crying for people).
The next day Trudeau came out with his subsidy to post-secondary students; $1,250 a month, but you can't have over $1,000 in income a month. So, the oldest boy has figured out he could quit his job paying $1,500 a month and get $1,250 for doing nothing, or better yet (I know the kid, he's in math so he's gonna game it) he could take fewer shifts, make $980 a month, and get the $1,250 on top of it.
Now, me and mean ITP and a bunch of others like Mattress Mack talk about lower juice, rebates, and making racing a better betting value quite often.We talk about this not being marketing related, or hats or free beer. This is why.
People - smart, thinking people of any age, but especially millennials who are a lot smarter than us Gen X'ers were - are drawn to value. They're drawn to money. If you give them a good bet they will play. If you give them a bad bet they will not play. Sometimes, like working for $1,500 or getting $1,250 for doing nothing, the decision is easy.
Have a really good Saturday and weekend everyone.