• Leinster Believer

    Perhaps the WPS pool takeouts should be based on number of runners rather than a set number. Encouraging tracks to schedule races for larger fields and for the smaller field stakes races value may still exist for the player

    • NAFTA

      The problem with that is it would result in draconian anti-scratch measures by the track, which would result in even more unhealthy horses running.

      • Mboyle852

        Good day. I would love to see scratch rules changed. If horse is provven injured or sick, he’s scratched.  If it rains, if trainer does not like post draw and he’s entered the race, the horse runs. No scratch.

    • kyle

      You’re absolutely right. In a world with modern technology – you know, where a competent software engineers could be found – and a sensible business architecture and a modicum of vision takeout, in all pools, would be a function of field size.

  • Leinster Believer

    Perhaps the WPS pool takeouts should be based on number of runners rather than a set number. Encouraging tracks to schedule races for larger fields and for the smaller field stakes races value may still exist for the player

  • NAFTA

    The problem with that is it would result in draconian anti-scratch measures by the track, which would result in even more unhealthy horses running.

  • PTP

    Every slots track should have 10% WPS takeout.  We need our horse racing commissioner to make it so.

    Welcome to the dark side Bacon. Good article.

    PTP

    • Roger

      It all sounds good in theory, but lowering takeout has yet to prove that it increases churn enough to offset its losses.  I work in the racetrack industry, and I have not seen this type of experiment work on a significant level at any track.  For one thing, most racing jurisdictions legislate the takeout percentage (or at least set the floor percentage) for WPS.  Also a good portion of the takeout is earmarked for state taxes and horsemen purses, and any decrease deducts from the racetrack’s take.  The experiments that I’ve seen rarely recoup half of the % reduction (e.g., you reduce takeout by 20%, and you may see a 10% increase in handle).  

      There are very few racetracks that can absorb (especially in this day and age) that type of revenue reduction long-term.  The only bets that a racetrack will take this type of a chance on are the less popular (or previously non-existent) ones such as the Pick 5.       

  • PTP

    Every slots track should have 10% WPS takeout.  We need our horse racing commissioner to make it so.

    Welcome to the dark side Bacon. Good article.

    PTP

  • Ned Daly

    “The rebate players alone are able to combat this, effectively lowering
    takeout on these bets and increasing their chances of winning. But when
    they win, there is a much higher chance that the average horseplayer
    will lose.”

    I think that most of the discussion of takeout is hot air. If the tote says the off odds are 4-1 and I wager and win, I still get
    $10 for my $2 investment. How does takeout or big bettors with fancy
    computers change this? Because in some alternative universe with
    only telegraphy and non-profit racetracks I might have gotten $11 instead? I have to live in the real world, the one where 4-1 pays $10 and I choose to accept those odds or not.

    But the paragraph above really puzzles me. I fail to see how differences in takeout changes my chance of winning a bet. The natural odds of winning are purely a function of the number of horses in the race. Other things being equal, I can improve on those odds by handicapping the contest. Rebate guys might make more money on each winning bet, but I think the chances of winning remain the same.
     

    • LongTimeEconomist

      Ned, as Ray points out, most horseplayers and track execs don’t realize how takeout affects total wagering. Yes, losers of any bet don’t notice takeout and winners are quite happy, thank you. But the important point, as Ray alludes to in his reference to daily double favorites winning, is that the higher the takeout is, the fewer total dollars bet on any given race is then returned to all bettors.

      Thus, the total pool of dollars left to bet on the next race is less than it would have been with a lower takeout. And, of course the cycle is repeated the next race, etc. etc. Over the course of a card, the total diminishment of funds left in bettors’ pockets is significant with a higher take. The bettors lose more money over the course of the card and are thus tapped out sooner, either causing them to slow down their wagering late in the card or taking a longer period of time before they come back to bet on another card. I can remember explaining this about 20 years ago, to the president of a major track, a pretty bright guy with a law degree, and he didn’t grasp it until I explained it to him more than once.

      I have said for years that the dumbest thing tracks do is to encourage newcomers to bet on exotic bets. What gets a newcomer to fall in love with our game and become a lifelong horseplayer is to cash a few tickets in his early attempts at wagering. He is far more likely to cash a few tickets, even if he loses money on the day, by betting win, place or show than he is betting trifectas or multi-race wagers, where there is considerable chance he will not cash one ticket all day. Guess who will then never come back again to bet on our game.  

    • Jack

      “Rebate guys might make more money on each winning bet, but I think the chances of winning remain the same.”
      is this some kind of wind up?

    • Tinky

      Takeout doesn’t change your chances of winning a bet – it reduces your net profit. And over time, those pennies and dollars add up. You may not “miss” them, but EVERY serious gambler does, and when one is betting hundreds or thousands of dollars a race, reduced profits add up very quickly.

      Unacceptably high takeout has driven MANY big gamblers away from racing, and the aggregate handle resulting from the loss of their business DWARFS the amounts bet by many thousands of ‘regular’ bettors.

      Whether you understand it or not, racetracks have seriously degraded their businesses by imposing stupidly high takeouts.

      • Ned Daly

         Tinky
        My point was just that, takeout does not change anyone’s chances of winning a bet. Maybe I should have been more direct that I was asking Ray to sharpen up his language. You and I also agree that winning money at the track is HARD and folks with big bankrolls will take the path of least resistance.

    • salthebarber

      Ned, if you get paid less because of rebate/computers plays or higher takeout, it does tend to deplete your bankroll quicker (or you win less than you might have). If I am not mistaken, Oaklawn bars the computer/rebate syndicates from accessing their pools because it effectively raises the takeout of the rest of the players 1%.

  • Ned Daly

    “The rebate players alone are able to combat this, effectively lowering
    takeout on these bets and increasing their chances of winning. But when
    they win, there is a much higher chance that the average horseplayer
    will lose.”

    I think that most of the discussion of takeout is hot air. If the tote says the off odds are 4-1 and I wager and win, I still get
    $10 for my $2 investment. How does takeout or big bettors with fancy
    computers change this? Because in some alternative universe with
    only telegraphy and non-profit racetracks I might have gotten $11 instead? I have to live in the real world, the one where 4-1 pays $10 and I choose to accept those odds or not.

    But the paragraph above really puzzles me. I fail to see how differences in takeout changes my chance of winning a bet. The natural odds of winning are purely a function of the number of horses in the race. Other things being equal, I can improve on those odds by handicapping the contest. Rebate guys might make more money on each winning bet, but I think the chances of winning remain the same.
     

  • LongTimeEconomist

    Ned, as Ray points out, most horseplayers and track execs don’t realize how takeout affects total wagering. Yes, losers of any bet don’t notice takeout and winners are quite happy, thank you. But the important point, as Ray alludes to in his reference to daily double favorites winning, is that the higher the takeout is, the fewer total dollars bet on any given race is then returned to all bettors.

    Thus, the total pool of dollars left to bet on the next race is less than it would have been with a lower takeout. And, of course the cycle is repeated the next race, etc. etc. Over the course of a card, the total diminishment of funds left in bettors’ pockets is significant with a higher take. The bettors lose more money over the course of the card and are thus tapped out sooner, either causing them to slow down their wagering late in the card or taking a longer period of time before they come back to bet on another card. I can remember explaining this about 20 years ago, to the president of a major track, a pretty bright guy with a law degree, and he didn’t grasp it until I explained it to him more than once.

    I have said for years that the dumbest thing tracks do is to encourage newcomers to bet on exotic bets. What gets a newcomer to fall in love with our game and become a lifelong horseplayer is to cash a few tickets in his early attempts at wagering. He is far more likely to cash a few tickets, even if he loses money on the day, by betting win, place or show than he is betting trifectas or multi-race wagers, where there is considerable chance he will not cash one ticket all day. Guess who will then never come back again to bet on our game.  

  • FourCats

    Successful businesses give their customers what the customers want (within limits).  I can’t speak for others, but when I wager, I want to play the exotics.  Why?  Because I believe that my handicapping ability gives me a greater chance of a profit.  In my opinion, a “paternalistic” attitude by track management to save bettors from themselves is arrogant and would result in many bettors going elsewhere.  People don’t want someone else telling them what is good for them (especially in entertainment).  That’s sort of what freedom is all about.  (And in reality, what is financially good for the average bettor is not to bet at all.)

    As for churn, I believe that it has been shown to increase handle.  However, there is also such a thing as a loss leader.  While the Pick 6 doesn’t really fit that label (ie. it does not actually show a loss for the track), it does have the purpose of bringing in more bettors and in generating increasing excitement when the carryover is large.  I have played the Pick 6 many times (and won a few).  I can’t think of a single time that I played the Pick 6 where I didn’t also wager on at least some of the individual races that I had spent all that time handicapping.  Compare it to the lottery.  Arguably, the states would take in more money if everyone bought lottery tickets every day which might win a few bucks IF the public at large did that (ie. churn).  However, many people who never buy a lottery ticket do so when there is a huge jackpot.  The huge jackpot is great publicity.  And some of those people may continue to buy smaller lottery tickets after they have been exposed to the lottery.  (Personally, I would like to see the tracks have a tougher bet like a Pick 8 or Pick 9 where the carryover could reach unbelievably levels and generate excitement from many in the non-horse racing public.)

  • FourCats

    Successful businesses give their customers what the customers want (within limits).  I can’t speak for others, but when I wager, I want to play the exotics.  Why?  Because I believe that my handicapping ability gives me a greater chance of a profit.  In my opinion, a “paternalistic” attitude by track management to save bettors from themselves is arrogant and would result in many bettors going elsewhere.  People don’t want someone else telling them what is good for them (especially in entertainment).  That’s sort of what freedom is all about.  (And in reality, what is financially good for the average bettor is not to bet at all.)

    As for churn, I believe that it has been shown to increase handle.  However, there is also such a thing as a loss leader.  While the Pick 6 doesn’t really fit that label (ie. it does not actually show a loss for the track), it does have the purpose of bringing in more bettors and in generating increasing excitement when the carryover is large.  I have played the Pick 6 many times (and won a few).  I can’t think of a single time that I played the Pick 6 where I didn’t also wager on at least some of the individual races that I had spent all that time handicapping.  Compare it to the lottery.  Arguably, the states would take in more money if everyone bought lottery tickets every day which might win a few bucks IF the public at large did that (ie. churn).  However, many people who never buy a lottery ticket do so when there is a huge jackpot.  The huge jackpot is great publicity.  And some of those people may continue to buy smaller lottery tickets after they have been exposed to the lottery.  (Personally, I would like to see the tracks have a tougher bet like a Pick 8 or Pick 9 where the carryover could reach unbelievably levels and generate excitement from many in the non-horse racing public.)

  • Jack

    “Rebate guys might make more money on each winning bet, but I think the chances of winning remain the same.”
    is this some kind of wind up?

  • kyle

    This is so self-evident and yet has gained so little traction that one becomes weary advocating the obvious course of action. For the reasons of churn, increased pool liquidity, and the more gentle seasoning of the inexperienced racing should be driving wagering into these pools in the following order: straight pools, intra-race exotics, multi-race exotics. Yes, it’s ass backwards to lower takeout on a wager like the pick five while shorter and shorter fields and too high take,not to mention odds instability, makes win betting less and less attractive. We don’t need to eliminate exotics; they are popular and are now an integral part of the game’s appeal. But tracks do need to start paring their wagering menus.

  • kyle

    This is so self-evident and yet has gained so little traction that one becomes weary advocating the obvious course of action. For the reasons of churn, increased pool liquidity, and the more gentle seasoning of the inexperienced racing should be driving wagering into these pools in the following order: straight pools, intra-race exotics, multi-race exotics. Yes, it’s ass backwards to lower takeout on a wager like the pick five while shorter and shorter fields and too high take,not to mention odds instability, makes win betting less and less attractive. We don’t need to eliminate exotics; they are popular and are now an integral part of the game’s appeal. But tracks do need to start paring their wagering menus.

  • Sandra Warren

    Here, here!  Common sense is finally breaking out.  I can only go by my own experience:  if I bet a Pick-4, I sit and watch the legs of my wager go buy until I’m out.  then I might bet again, but as long as I’m alive in that Pick-4, I’m only going to watch.  That has to hurt the handle.  The churn is everything.  I never shown newbies how to bet exotics.  Bring back Win wagering!

  • Sandra Warren

    Here, here!  Common sense is finally breaking out.  I can only go by my own experience:  if I bet a Pick-4, I sit and watch the legs of my wager go buy until I’m out.  then I might bet again, but as long as I’m alive in that Pick-4, I’m only going to watch.  That has to hurt the handle.  The churn is everything.  I never shown newbies how to bet exotics.  Bring back Win wagering!

  • kyle

    You’re absolutely right. In a world with modern technology – you know, where a competent software engineers could be found – and a sensible business architecture and a modicum of vision takeout, in all pools, would be a function of field size.

  • David

    5 plus years ago I would never hear about takeout at the track.Now I hear about it at least once a month.

    I would say the majority still don’t care about the takeout but It’s a much smaller majority today and getting smaller.

    The Industry better wake up soon… 

    What the slot-tracks are doing with all that money is mind boggling.

  • David

    5 plus years ago I would never hear about takeout at the track.Now I hear about it at least once a month.

    I would say the majority still don’t care about the takeout but It’s a much smaller majority today and getting smaller.

    The Industry better wake up soon… 

    What the slot-tracks are doing with all that money is mind boggling.

  • Tinky

    Takeout doesn’t change your chances of winning a bet – it reduces your net profit. And over time, those pennies and dollars add up. You may not “miss” them, but EVERY serious gambler does, and when one is betting hundreds or thousands of dollars a race, reduced profits add up very quickly.

    Unacceptably high takeout has driven MANY big gamblers away from racing, and the aggregate handle resulting from the loss of their business DWARFS the amounts bet by many thousands of ‘regular’ bettors.

    Whether you understand it or not, racetracks have seriously degraded their businesses by imposing stupidly high takeouts.

  • Ned Daly

     Tinky
    My point was just that, takeout does not change anyone’s chances of winning a bet. Maybe I should have been more direct that I was asking Ray to sharpen up his language. You and I also agree that winning money at the track is HARD and folks with big bankrolls will take the path of least resistance.

  • Eddie Donnally

    Ray, Lest we not forget. It was trifectas and superfectas that made “Fat Tony” Ciulla’s race fixing scheme in the 1970s so successful. In a nine or ten horse field stop any five or six horses through a variety of means, box the rest and do it enough times and the statistical probabilities lie on the side of the fixer. I will always campaign against them.  

    I saw it up close and personal their damage to horse racing and my life, and talk about my encounter with the Winter Hill Gang in my soon to be released “Ride The White Horse: One Checkered Jockey’s Story of Rage, Racing and Redemption.” 

    You are so right to be dubious about exotics.   

  • Eddie Donnally

    Ray, Lest we not forget. It was trifectas and superfectas that made “Fat Tony” Ciulla’s race fixing scheme in the 1970s so successful. In a nine or ten horse field stop any five or six horses through a variety of means, box the rest and do it enough times and the statistical probabilities lie on the side of the fixer. I will always campaign against them.  

    I saw it up close and personal their damage to horse racing and my life, and talk about my encounter with the Winter Hill Gang in my soon to be released “Ride The White Horse: One Checkered Jockey’s Story of Rage, Racing and Redemption.” 

    You are so right to be dubious about exotics.   

  • David

    Of everything – imposed or self-inflicted – confronting racing
    this subject deserves the most attention.  
    The pari-mutuel model, as we know it today, has affirmed the adage “racing
    is a sucker bet, you simply can’t beat the horses”.  I’m not smart enough to know the solution but until and if this
    business can distribute the return – regardless of the take – more evenly, the steady
    decline will continue.  Congrats Ray,
    you should extend your reach on this one.

  • David

    Of everything – imposed or self-inflicted – confronting racing
    this subject deserves the most attention.  
    The pari-mutuel model, as we know it today, has affirmed the adage “racing
    is a sucker bet, you simply can’t beat the horses”.  I’m not smart enough to know the solution but until and if this
    business can distribute the return – regardless of the take – more evenly, the steady
    decline will continue.  Congrats Ray,
    you should extend your reach on this one.

  • Donauld

    Ray kindly repost this every couple of months till something happens. Rather embaressing to take a newcomer to the track and see two horse blinking at 6/5. Newcomer tells me I am crazy and says he might bet exotic since it is harder the track must charge less.

  • Donauld

    Ray kindly repost this every couple of months till something happens. Rather embaressing to take a newcomer to the track and see two horse blinking at 6/5. Newcomer tells me I am crazy and says he might bet exotic since it is harder the track must charge less.

  • Jack

    I’m all for exotic options.  I don’t think it is trouble for beginners.  I was in Hong Kong over the summer and had a chance to visit Sha Tin.  As a clueless beginner, I only made win bets. 

    I do agree that exotics are a double edged sword for the tracks because it definitely reduces churn. Tracks love them, though, because they charge up to 29% takeout without people taking much notice.  Another problem exotics cause is a watering down of pools.  I used to love playing Chicago racing.  The Chicago tracks handle between 2-3 million per day.  The betting menu offers rolling pick 3s, rolling doubles, superfectas, trifectas, a few pick 4s, etc.  With so many pools to choose from, the win pool shrinks, the exacta pool shrinks, etc….the pick 3 pools are about 5k.   The money is too spread out.  What ended up happening is I stopped betting Chicago racing because my bets were affecting my prices.  

    I don’t think there is a chance in hell anything will be done to help the player.  Track executives are brain dead, and with the slots windfall many states are currently experiencing, they see the future as a garden of roses.  

     

    • SteveG

      Jack, from what I’ve been able to gather reading on some of the threads here, you’re an experienced player which makes it difficult to offer an informed opinion about what’s trouble for beginners.  It was your experience that told you to drop back to win bets in unfamiliar territory.  Novices lack that perspective, eh?

      Most can’t isolate contenders, have limited bankroll & are easy marks for high takeout complex exotics as the promotions for the complex bets tap into their jackpot betting gene.  Sure enough, all but the truly lucky who collide with a winning combination, tap in to the scheme & just as quickly tap out.

      IMO, It takes some guidance for a new player to get started on the right track to a long term interest in handicapping & betting.

      Analogizing, you wouldn’t challenge a novice pianist with complex music if you wanted him to come back for lesson #2.

      • Jack

        I think you make some valid points, Steve.  I do recall when I first started going to the track, my main bets were win and sometimes WPS bets.  That was around ’86.  There were exotic options (nothing like today), but I still fancied keeping it simple.   I wanted to have some fun and cash a few tickets.  I guess I was smart enough or practical enough to realize that it would be foolish to get involved with exotics with such a limited understanding of the game.    I can’t speak for all beginners.  I assume they have different motivations for how they bet.  If they are sucked in by exotics, I agree that they will most likely abandon the game because as Long Term Economist pointed out, cashing a few winners is the key to falling in love with the game.   As you said in your analogy, if you stick a Scott Joplin song in front of a novice piano player, they’ll get frustrated and eventually give up….but  if they take on the Joplin song when “Chopsticks” is available, that is their decision. 

        • nu-fan

          Jack:  Well stated!  You (as well as SteveG and LongTerm Economist) wrapped this up in a nutshell.

  • Jack

    I’m all for exotic options.  I don’t think it is trouble for beginners.  I was in Hong Kong over the summer and had a chance to visit Sha Tin.  As a clueless beginner, I only made win bets. 

    I do agree that exotics are a double edged sword for the tracks because it definitely reduces churn. Tracks love them, though, because they charge up to 29% takeout without people taking much notice.  Another problem exotics cause is a watering down of pools.  I used to love playing Chicago racing.  The Chicago tracks handle between 2-3 million per day.  The betting menu offers rolling pick 3s, rolling doubles, superfectas, trifectas, a few pick 4s, etc.  With so many pools to choose from, the win pool shrinks, the exacta pool shrinks, etc….the pick 3 pools are about 5k.   The money is too spread out.  What ended up happening is I stopped betting Chicago racing because my bets were affecting my prices.  

    I don’t think there is a chance in hell anything will be done to help the player.  Track executives are brain dead, and with the slots windfall many states are currently experiencing, they see the future as a garden of roses.  

     

  • Allan

    Instead of these massive exotics, what we need are more reasonable ones like a Twin Exacta or Quiniella; bets that may not make people rich but give them an opportunity to win a decent amount of money without betting huge amounts. 

  • Allan

    Instead of these massive exotics, what we need are more reasonable ones like a Twin Exacta or Quiniella; bets that may not make people rich but give them an opportunity to win a decent amount of money without betting huge amounts. 

  • SteveG

    Jack, from what I’ve been able to gather reading on some of the threads here, you’re an experienced player which makes it difficult to offer an informed opinion about what’s trouble for beginners.  It was your experience that told you to drop back to win bets in unfamiliar territory.  Novices lack that perspective, eh?

    Most can’t isolate contenders, have limited bankroll & are easy marks for high takeout complex exotics as the promotions for the complex bets tap into their jackpot betting gene.  Sure enough, all but the truly lucky who collide with a winning combination, tap in to the scheme & just as quickly tap out.

    IMO, It takes some guidance for a new player to get started on the right track to a long term interest in handicapping & betting.

    Analogizing, you wouldn’t challenge a novice pianist with complex music if you wanted him to come back for lesson #2.

  • Garysherlock

    Ray
    One of the best articles ever written on whats wrong with betting on horses today !
    Take Santa Anita on a thursday !st race Pick 5 starts 2nd racepick 4 starts 3rd race pick 6 starts 5th pace late pick 4 starts miss the 5th race and your dead in every BET !
    not to mention rolling doubles and pick threes!
    There is no churn but worse the money goes back to few players so most people lose everyday, I dont know how people reload everyday.Iwish the tracks would go retro,
     But i dont see payphones coming backanytime soon either

  • Garysherlock

    Ray
    One of the best articles ever written on whats wrong with betting on horses today !
    Take Santa Anita on a thursday !st race Pick 5 starts 2nd racepick 4 starts 3rd race pick 6 starts 5th pace late pick 4 starts miss the 5th race and your dead in every BET !
    not to mention rolling doubles and pick threes!
    There is no churn but worse the money goes back to few players so most people lose everyday, I dont know how people reload everyday.Iwish the tracks would go retro,
     But i dont see payphones coming backanytime soon either

  • Jack

    I think you make some valid points, Steve.  I do recall when I first started going to the track, my main bets were win and sometimes WPS bets.  That was around ’86.  There were exotic options (nothing like today), but I still fancied keeping it simple.   I wanted to have some fun and cash a few tickets.  I guess I was smart enough or practical enough to realize that it would be foolish to get involved with exotics with such a limited understanding of the game.    I can’t speak for all beginners.  I assume they have different motivations for how they bet.  If they are sucked in by exotics, I agree that they will most likely abandon the game because as Long Term Economist pointed out, cashing a few winners is the key to falling in love with the game.   As you said in your analogy, if you stick a Scott Joplin song in front of a novice piano player, they’ll get frustrated and eventually give up….but  if they take on the Joplin song when “Chopsticks” is available, that is their decision. 

  • Ron Hale

    The reason for exotics today is simple.  Competitive races and large win payouts are few and far between.  This past Sunday, Aqueduct had an odds-on favorite in the first eight races (check the charts).  And the last-race winner went off at 6-to-5.  I haven’t seen a scenario like that since 50 years ago when harness racing used the A-B-C ranking system for races.  Also, 30 years ago, one could go to an entire race meeting and not see a horse go off at 1-to-9.  Go to any simulcast center any day and scan the screens.  You’re likely to see several horses going off at 1-to-9.  Also, horses that pay $4 and $5 to win are very often the second choice in the race, rendering the old “percentage of winning favorites” meaningless.  Until the sport finds a way to stop trainers from entering horses wherever they want and until racetracks realize that fewer racing dates are better, it’s just going to get worse.  Frank Stronach now wants Gulfstream to race year round.  The death spiral is spinning at an insane speed.

  • Ron Hale

    The reason for exotics today is simple.  Competitive races and large win payouts are few and far between.  This past Sunday, Aqueduct had an odds-on favorite in the first eight races (check the charts).  And the last-race winner went off at 6-to-5.  I haven’t seen a scenario like that since 50 years ago when harness racing used the A-B-C ranking system for races.  Also, 30 years ago, one could go to an entire race meeting and not see a horse go off at 1-to-9.  Go to any simulcast center any day and scan the screens.  You’re likely to see several horses going off at 1-to-9.  Also, horses that pay $4 and $5 to win are very often the second choice in the race, rendering the old “percentage of winning favorites” meaningless.  Until the sport finds a way to stop trainers from entering horses wherever they want and until racetracks realize that fewer racing dates are better, it’s just going to get worse.  Frank Stronach now wants Gulfstream to race year round.  The death spiral is spinning at an insane speed.

  • KARTOLOGY

    I DON’T THINK ITS THE EXOTIC BET THAT’S BAD FOR BETTORS..ITS THE EXHORBITANT
    TAKE OUT..THATS ATTACHED TO THEM..

  • KARTOLOGY

    I DON’T THINK ITS THE EXOTIC BET THAT’S BAD FOR BETTORS..ITS THE EXHORBITANT
    TAKE OUT..THATS ATTACHED TO THEM..

  • Mboyle852

    Good day. I would love to see scratch rules changed. If horse is provven injured or sick, he’s scratched.  If it rains, if trainer does not like post draw and he’s entered the race, the horse runs. No scratch.

  • David

    Implied in most comments herein is that the existing product
    is what is it is and, existing and future customers will/should/must adapt to
    it.  We need more winners (as a percent
    of the total) and the current pari-mutuel model is a big part of the problem.   Time to think out of the pari-mutuel box
    and handicapping seminars and money management advice isn’t the answer.

  • David

    Implied in most comments herein is that the existing product
    is what is it is and, existing and future customers will/should/must adapt to
    it.  We need more winners (as a percent
    of the total) and the current pari-mutuel model is a big part of the problem.   Time to think out of the pari-mutuel box
    and handicapping seminars and money management advice isn’t the answer.

  • nu-fan

    Jack:  Well stated!  You (as well as SteveG and LongTerm Economist) wrapped this up in a nutshell.

  • salthebarber

    Ned, if you get paid less because of rebate/computers plays or higher takeout, it does tend to deplete your bankroll quicker (or you win less than you might have). If I am not mistaken, Oaklawn bars the computer/rebate syndicates from accessing their pools because it effectively raises the takeout of the rest of the players 1%.

  • Harry

    Excellent article Ray for sure. Money is tied up during p/5 and p/6 most of times  for hours at a time. When it is all said and done when massive carryovers occur as Gulfstream (.10p/6 1 winning ticket only to win pool) the syndicates wagering thousands are most likely to win big carryovers over the smaller bettors. Tracks with guaranteed p/4 and p/6 pools is also a real bad gimmick. Each track keeps daily track of what money is going into what pool. Example using Betfair Hollywood Park when they say p/4 with guaranteed pool of $240,000 they know that much will be bet on that bet on that certain day. That is why that number is used. The so called sponsors 95% of time will not put up any money because the race track knows that $240,000 will be bet. Sponsors used for publicity only. Again Ray kudos to your article. I believe exactas,trifectas,daily doubles are more than sufficient for exotic wagering as back in day when horse racing was thriving unlike today.

  • Harry

    Excellent article Ray for sure. Money is tied up during p/5 and p/6 most of times  for hours at a time. When it is all said and done when massive carryovers occur as Gulfstream (.10p/6 1 winning ticket only to win pool) the syndicates wagering thousands are most likely to win big carryovers over the smaller bettors. Tracks with guaranteed p/4 and p/6 pools is also a real bad gimmick. Each track keeps daily track of what money is going into what pool. Example using Betfair Hollywood Park when they say p/4 with guaranteed pool of $240,000 they know that much will be bet on that bet on that certain day. That is why that number is used. The so called sponsors 95% of time will not put up any money because the race track knows that $240,000 will be bet. Sponsors used for publicity only. Again Ray kudos to your article. I believe exactas,trifectas,daily doubles are more than sufficient for exotic wagering as back in day when horse racing was thriving unlike today.

  • Kirk S.

    I guess I’ll be a contrarian on this thread.Ever since I was laid off in 2007 I’ve had to rely on horse racing for my income.  As screwed up and bizarre as it sounds, the exotics have helped my wife and I keep a roof over our heads and food in the fridge.Are we rich?  No way.  Are we off the streets and on welfare?  No, we still manage to pay our own way.  Again, a contrarian way of getting by.

    Since I live in and play Southern California tracks, the takeout is the price to play.  Sure, having a lower takeout would be great for the winnings but I doubt the current rate will ever decrease.  Sacramento and our elected officials will never give up a source of tax income. 

    After attempt after attempt to contact my assemblyman and state senator, both of whom authored the bills that became the takeout increase/exchange wagering laws, it became very clear I would never get any answers to my questions.  Even though they are supposed “to work for me” , they, like all politicians, follow the money ball of contributions.  Sorry, I don’t play that game.The lower takeout Pick 5 does nothing for me.  With such short fields in the first two or three races, it just doesn’t have the payout for the effort.  And when the CHRB lowered the minimum field size for superfecta wagering, it became a joke.  I agree with many on here that limiting the amount of exotics would help, especially in the vertical wagering.  Just as show wagering is cancelled when a field gets too short, they should do the same for trifectas and superfectas.  A superfecta bet on a five horse field is just plain stupid.

    I’m sure many of you “takeouters” consider me a sucker for playing California tracks.  Well, if I’m a sucker, at least I’ve got the W2G’s to prove being a sucker can pay.  Sure beats being a gray-haired burger flipper at McDonalds or In-N-Out. 

    No way I could make a living on Win, Place or Show bets.

    • Lowechris18

      I have seen FOUR horse fields in Cali with super wagering!

  • Kirk S.

    I guess I’ll be a contrarian on this thread.Ever since I was laid off in 2007 I’ve had to rely on horse racing for my income.  As screwed up and bizarre as it sounds, the exotics have helped my wife and I keep a roof over our heads and food in the fridge.Are we rich?  No way.  Are we off the streets and on welfare?  No, we still manage to pay our own way.  Again, a contrarian way of getting by.

    Since I live in and play Southern California tracks, the takeout is the price to play.  Sure, having a lower takeout would be great for the winnings but I doubt the current rate will ever decrease.  Sacramento and our elected officials will never give up a source of tax income. 

    After attempt after attempt to contact my assemblyman and state senator, both of whom authored the bills that became the takeout increase/exchange wagering laws, it became very clear I would never get any answers to my questions.  Even though they are supposed “to work for me” <insert here=”” laugh=”” sarcastic=””>, they, like all politicians, follow the money ball of contributions.  Sorry, I don’t play that game.The lower takeout Pick 5 does nothing for me.  With such short fields in the first two or three races, it just doesn’t have the payout for the effort.  And when the CHRB lowered the minimum field size for superfecta wagering, it became a joke.  I agree with many on here that limiting the amount of exotics would help, especially in the vertical wagering.  Just as show wagering is cancelled when a field gets too short, they should do the same for trifectas and superfectas.  A superfecta bet on a five horse field is just plain stupid.

    I’m sure many of you “takeouters” consider me a sucker for playing California tracks.  Well, if I’m a sucker, at least I’ve got the W2G’s to prove being a sucker can pay.  Sure beats being a gray-haired burger flipper at McDonalds or In-N-Out. 

    No way I could make a living on Win, Place or Show bets.

    </insert>

  • Caroline

    Strikes me, in recent CA historical retrospect, this is a great rationale to raise takeout on the P5 and reduce it a bit on WPS. Still trying to figure out why W, P and S bets are considered as somehow perfect substitutes on pricing. They obviously have very different risk characteristics. And they have different price elasticities of demand in econometric/statistical studies. But c’est la vie/ RIP optimal pricing.  

  • Caroline

    Strikes me, in recent CA historical retrospect, this is a great rationale to raise takeout on the P5 and reduce it a bit on WPS. Still trying to figure out why W, P and S bets are considered as somehow perfect substitutes on pricing. They obviously have very different risk characteristics. And they have different price elasticities of demand in econometric/statistical studies. But c’est la vie/ RIP optimal pricing.  

  • Francis Bush

    A takeout of 10 % compares equally with slots set to decrease by 10% this amount on return. I find it disgusting that takeout exists, I see absolutely no reason that it should ever reach levels above 10%.  Its good wagering business when the house risks less and forces the wagering public to risk more.

    • Ned Daly

       Francis
      In parimutuel wagering the house never risks anything. All the risks are born by the bettors. Takeout is a transaction cost. All businesses have them.

  • Francis Bush

    A takeout of 10 % compares equally with slots set to decrease by 10% this amount on return. I find it disgusting that takeout exists, I see absolutely no reason that it should ever reach levels above 10%.  Its good wagering business when the house risks less and forces the wagering public to risk more.

  • John McEvoy

    Thought provoking, Ray, but I can’t agree that Pick 5 money “sits” by its lonesome for five races. Most of those bettors are still in action in those races, especially after they are knocked out of the Pick 5.
    As Ron Hale points out, little money can be made betting straight on the numerous days the chalk is extremely chalky. Exotics provide opportunities for major scores–every horse player’s goal.

  • John McEvoy

    Thought provoking, Ray, but I can’t agree that Pick 5 money “sits” by its lonesome for five races. Most of those bettors are still in action in those races, especially after they are knocked out of the Pick 5.
    As Ron Hale points out, little money can be made betting straight on the numerous days the chalk is extremely chalky. Exotics provide opportunities for major scores–every horse player’s goal.

  • Ned Daly

     Francis
    In parimutuel wagering the house never risks anything. All the risks are born by the bettors. Takeout is a transaction cost. All businesses have them.

  • David

    Really good insight on an important subject for the future of
    racing.  The thing that bothers me,
    however, is the percent of the contributors who sincerely believe that if you
    lower the price (take) the trend will reverse. 
    This implies prospective new users now on the sidelines will witness elevated
    success of friends/associates and recognize the racing game is the place to be
    . . . more churn by an increased pool of players.  Sorry, but I’m not drinking that stuff as, IMO, no matter what
    the price, the return will still be in the hands of too few.  Racing needs a new, parallel pari-mutuel
    system designed at spreading the return among a broader portion of players.  Instead, for example, of a 20-horse betting Derby
    field, you have 4, 5-horse betting entrants? 
    Most readers will yuck it up and therefore . . . I rest my case.

  • David

    Really good insight on an important subject for the future of
    racing.  The thing that bothers me,
    however, is the percent of the contributors who sincerely believe that if you
    lower the price (take) the trend will reverse. 
    This implies prospective new users now on the sidelines will witness elevated
    success of friends/associates and recognize the racing game is the place to be
    . . . more churn by an increased pool of players.  Sorry, but I’m not drinking that stuff as, IMO, no matter what
    the price, the return will still be in the hands of too few.  Racing needs a new, parallel pari-mutuel
    system designed at spreading the return among a broader portion of players.  Instead, for example, of a 20-horse betting Derby
    field, you have 4, 5-horse betting entrants? 
    Most readers will yuck it up and therefore . . . I rest my case.

  • Lowechris18

    I have seen FOUR horse fields in Cali with super wagering!

  • Ebracin1945

    Cound’t agree more 1st bet is and always should be WIN BET but tracks have to drastically reduce take out & promote it very very aggressively they make up in the churn and have more successful customers !!!!!

  • Ebracin1945

    Cound’t agree more 1st bet is and always should be WIN BET but tracks have to drastically reduce take out & promote it very very aggressively they make up in the churn and have more successful customers !!!!!

  • Roger

    It all sounds good in theory, but lowering takeout has yet to prove that it increases churn enough to offset its losses.  I work in the racetrack industry, and I have not seen this type of experiment work on a significant level at any track.  For one thing, most racing jurisdictions legislate the takeout percentage (or at least set the floor percentage) for WPS.  Also a good portion of the takeout is earmarked for state taxes and horsemen purses, and any decrease deducts from the racetrack’s take.  The experiments that I’ve seen rarely recoup half of the % reduction (e.g., you reduce takeout by 20%, and you may see a 10% increase in handle).  

    There are very few racetracks that can absorb (especially in this day and age) that type of revenue reduction long-term.  The only bets that a racetrack will take this type of a chance on are the less popular (or previously non-existent) ones such as the Pick 5.       

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