Friday, May 14, 2021

Refund Those Bets (Maybe With Fixed Odds)

The sun is out here in the tundra and life is, well not good, we're still kind of all locked down (the vernacular, it's not really), but it's not too bad. And lunch time is upon me and I am bored so I thought I'd share some drivel. 

Matt wrote what I thought was a tremendously good piece about Baffert today in the DRF. The whole opinion column is good but in one paragraph, he brought up the PETA complaint whereby they are asking for the results of the Derby to be paid out like Medina Spirit was DQ'd. I won't even go there; it's a non-starter, but it did get me thinking. 

If fixed odds wagering was mainstream and legal, many of the entities bet taking would do just that - pay your Mandaloun tickets as if he won. We've seen this tons of times before as a marketing vehicle, with fights that are poorly judged, or whatever. In the pari-mutuel pools this is impossible. 

I am not a huge fixed odds proponent or opponent, but I do think they add value to the business. Yes, the DraftKings' of the world might kick me out if I am hot, but there are shared wallets with sports betting that need access to this sport; the sport needs outlets to push it to others who will not sign up with a Twinspires account. And yes, just possibly, it does need the singular entity that can say, "here's your DQ money, customer", when the real pari-mutuel business can't or won't. 

Notes - 

I don't know if it's Baffert, fatigue, just me, or what, but the Preakness itself as a betting day (and race) feels horribly muted on the social media channels this year. I have not even opened the PP's. It's definitely somewhat weird, if we truly are yawning, because TV ratings will be through the roof. It'll be BINGO

There are inflation ruminations all over the place this past couple of weeks. For a society under the age of 40 that has never really seen it, it must be like watching an episode of the Munsters. The smart money says this is a blip, but what if this inflation is truly cost-push? What's it do for the horse business? Maybe someone sharp out there can tell us what happened in horse racing from 1975-1982 during the big inflation years. 

The Big M cards are heating up for harness watchers as is customary each May. The biggest change this year is the influx of Canadian horses and drivers due to lack of vaccines (and new waves) north of the border. For those who wonder what cards would look like if harness racing consolidated its dates, this is a little taste of it I suppose. Make no mistake, the cards are getting very good. 

The TIF set of articles on wagering and wagering integrity were the bomb. Very interesting. If you have not read all the parts I'd recommend

Have a great weekend everyone. 

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