The Friday Show Presented By Woodbine’s Twilight Racing Series: Second City And Takeout Blues?

by | 08.11.2017 | 8:46am
Arlington Park

This weekend marks the 35th running of the Arlington Million in Chicago, always one of the highlights on the racing calendar. But the Illinois racing industry is currently in such dire straits, it's fair to wonder how much longer the Million and Arlington Park will be around.

Scott Jagow and Ray Paulick discuss the situation in this week's Friday Show, plus will Keeneland's decision to increase takeout to maximum levels in Kentucky come back to bite the track?

Watch the latest edition of The Friday Show and join the discussion.


Will Keeneland's decision to raise takeout to maximum levels affect its betting handle?

  • J. Nasium

    They will never learn….

  • Peter Scarnati

    Certainly raising the take to further fund already high purses is most definitely the wrong thing to do, if for no other reason than tarnishing their reputation with the wagering public.
    Having said that, history tells us this increase will have very little affect on the wagering handle — one way or the other. Churchill raised it’s take a few years ago and since that time the handle has actually risen. In a much ballyhooed move last year, Canterbury lowered its take and received only the slightest of increases in their handle, while losing revenue in the process.
    The bottom line is this: By and large, it would seem the level of take has little real world impact on betting handle, probably because it is an “unseen” cost by the overwhelming majority of players. In addition, there is simply no reliable way to measure the singular effect that raising or lowering handle produces. Who can definitively say the handle was only impacted by the takeout level and not other factors such as attendance, field size, quality of races or the weather, to name just a few?
    Sure, there are those who will point to this track or that track and what was done with the take. And they will then also offer their theory on how that effected the handle. The problem is, it will forever be a theory, since other factors all play a role in the size of the betting handle.

    • Joe Sollitto

      Agreed. I used to love playing Canterbury over the summer, but stopped when the takeout increased. HANA does a great job, but there are very few of us that really pay attention to what is going on.

      • Michael Cusortelli

        Unfortunately Joe, you are correct. Very few of us really pay attention to what’s going on. If we did, not one nickel would be wagered on the Pennsylvania tracks.

    • David Worley

      I wish you weren’t right here, but I agree. I think the actual effects will be minimal.

  • Big

    No foresight at all. Just a money grab because they can.

  • Joe Sollitto

    If only Corey Johnsen, Charles Cella and maybe Stronach could simply take over horse racing nationally. :P

  • David Worley

    Regarding Arlington. In a nation where there are very few truly gorgeous racetracks, it is a shame that Arlington Park does not field fantastic racing throughout their whole season. As Scott aptly stated, it is a beautiful and fantastic venue in a great sports-oriented metroplex.

  • PTP

    Just a note, Scott – the numbers you allude to in the show are post takeout hike numbers. Greg Hall, for example, reported that 2013 handle (pre takeout hike) was $663M at Churchill. Last year they did about $520M, for a significant reduction since increasing the hold.

    PTP

  • Michael Cusortelli

    The handles at Del Mar and Churchill Downs have actually increased since takeout rates were raised at those tracks. This takeout increase will have no affect on Keeneland’s handle.

    I hope I’m wrong, but recent history tells me I won’t be.

  • Nancy Taylor

    At least, the Pick 5 takeout becomes competitive with other Class A tracks. Hope that the “suits” at Oaklawn Park lower their high Pick 5 cut as well.

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