Platt and Rebate Shops Not Friends of Racing?

by | 01.24.2011 | 7:01am

If horse racing industry leaders had not made the critical mistake 20 years ago of underpricing their simulcast signal, rebate operations would not exist.

But underprice they did, and racetracks found themselves losing on-track customers to off-shore and U.S.-based companies that established very profitable businesses because they had virtually no infrastructure (bricks and mortar) to support.

Let's say that customer bet $100 at the track where a race is run and the takeout is 20%. Roughly $18 comes back to the track and is divided with horsemen for purses.

If that same customer bets $100 with a rebater like RGS or Elite Turf Club,only $4 or $5 of the 20% takeout comes back to the track where the race he bet on is run. RGS or Elite Turf Club keeps the balance, and passes most of what it keeps back to the bettor in the form of a rebate.

Good deal for RGS or Elite Turf Club, which has very little investment or payroll to worry about and makes a 4% or 5% profit.

Good deal for the horseplayer, who gets a 10% or 12% rebate on every dollar he wagers, thus giving him a much better chance of being a winning gambler.

Not such a good deal for the track and horsemen where the race is run, because their dollar just shrunk from an 18% revenue stream to a 4% or 5% revenue stream.

The rebaters and horseplayers argue that rebates allow gamblers to increase their volume of wagering by 400% or 500% because they are winning. The argument follows that tracks and horsemen end up with the same revenue stream they would have had the horseplayer wagered a lesser amount on-track.

If that's true, and rebate operations are growing, then why is handle shrinking?

One argument is that horseplayers receiving rebates are winning at the expense of those who are not receiving rebates. The losers are getting discouraged faster because the horseplaying field isn't level.

Others speculate that many horseplayers are getting rebates from off-shore bookmakers, who aren't even putting the wagers into the tracks pools (and also won't return track odds on high-payoff exotic bets).

Rebate operations have become the 800-pound gorilla in racing. Tracks are afraid of raising their signal price and losing them, because they feel as though they need the handle rebate customers provide. But they dread losing on-track horseplayers to rebaters because they end up getting so little from their handle.

In my opinion, rebaters are not a friend of horse racing.

Jeff Platt is a smart guy. He's a horseplayer who has developed a handicapping software system. He also is the high profile president of the vocal group known as Horseplayers Association of North America, or HANA, which is attempting to position itself as the “voice” of horseplayers. HANA was established a couple of years ago and has done some good things, including a ranking of racetracks that uses takeout, field size, and product availability on ADW systems as its measures.

In emails he has sent out and in a sales pitch on his website, Platt has been soliciting horseplayers to sign up with rebaters that he said he is associated with. Platt said he has no “financial stake” in those rebate operations, though he admitted to the Paulick Report that he receives commissions whenever someone he recruits becomes a customer of a rebater. Platt, thus, has a financial interest in moving horseplayers from the racetrack to rebate operations. He is their pimp.

I don't know if the players Platt has recruited for the rebaters understand that he gets a commission, nor do I care. If he wants to camouflage what a financial stake is, that's his business.

But I do think racetracks that deal with HANA should know that the organization is run by someone who is actively soliciting some of their best customers to wager through a system that pays the tracks – and, as a result, pays purses – less money.

In that regard, if rebate operators are not a friend of racing, neither is Platt.

UPDATE: For those who would like to see further evidence of Jeff Platt's relationship with rebate business, please click here. It is basically a longer form version of the email put in the comments section (#33) and ends with a disclaimer that he receives a referral fee. Again, the Paulick Report has not said that HANA has anything to do with Mr. Platt's referral business. In fact, Mr. Platt told the Paulick Report he received the list free in exchange for some software programming he did and claims to not know where the list originated.

  • Allen g

    Wow. Platt is getting a kickback? If that is true it makes HANA look like the Teamsters union circa 1960.

  • C Bea

    A diversity of customer types, in this case “players”, is what’s required for the long-term success of any business. But there is a careful balance to maintain. Too few large customers leaves any organization vulnerable to the whims of these few. Too many small, high needs customers leave an organization with an excessive cost burden in supporting them. As an industry horse racing needs and should cater to them all. And we need and want them all. But this balancing act is the challenge.

    At and up to the present time the Elite’s and RGS’ of the world have had a marketed advantage over any bricks-n-mortar site. And I don’t consider Elite and RGS to be the equals of anyone operating bricks-n-mortar facilities. As such their pricing should be higher. With no direct investment in racing with no sponsorship of racing events why do we allow them to simply skim the cream from the top? At least in Europe the big operators, the pariah Betfair included, sponsor racing events giving back to the industry in some direct way. So where we often lament Betfair’s poaching and pirating of our industry in many ways Elite and RGS are worse. The best deal any customer should be able to strike should be with the industry and track directly not through some third party. And this “best pricing” should be based on definable measures or thresholds of business.

    As to Jeff Platt and HANA I’ve stated previously that HANA are a paradox. On one hand there are great things that they’ve done and are doing in support of and in recognition to the players. But this revelation of Jeff’s self-serving double agent activities only suggest that perhaps HANA’s heart is not in the right place. Or perhaps the heart is willing but the body is truly weak and easily bought.

    Rebaters are not the problem. High volume wholesale level customers are an important customer for us to court. At the same time courting them can not and should not be done at the complete expense of other customers and customer types that we also need and want.

  • ace

    Thanks Ray for pointing out this 2 faced bastard. Lets boycott HANA haha

  • alydar

    If these allegations are accurate, this is a major problem for HANA’s credibility in the industry. It is dissapointing to me to see this.

  • “HES A PIMP”…ty…

  • Get The Facts Straight

    Add in to the mix the fact that your biggest ADWs are owned by racetrack groups and you have even more issues. When their ADW is “negotiating” signal fees they are basically negotiating with themselves. What kind of deal do you think they are going to make with themselves?

    MEC, MID or whatever the newest three letter acronym Magna is using today along with Churchill Inc. is better off driving the smaller Tracks, ADWs and OTBs out of business by raising their signal fees for their products and drive them out of business as they can then get those places customers to wager through the ADWs those two own and make more in profits from those wagers than if the wagers were made at the smaller guest tracks or OTBs and all they would be getting is the signal fee that they have to split with purses.

    ADWs are the MAIN reason that the percentage decline in purses is higher than the percentage decline in handle.

  • Trappeddownontherail

    Adds another wrinkle to the boycott California campaign?

  • Over and over I find myself pondering the following: the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 is essentially worthless due to the rebates. What mention there is of ‘paramutual’ the definition doesn’t account for the situation where one player gets an advantage over another via rebate. Here ‘paramutual’ is not properly defined in a legal sense. So paramutual is watered down perhaps in the direction of ‘casino gambling’. Don’t some players get a sort of house edge? But – a major issue for modern times is: the offshore platforms, to my mind, are in gross violation of the US Patriot Act’s money laundering laws via the KYC (Know Your Customer) rules. Given the large sums, ie transfer of dollars, I wonder if this isn’t a US Treasury issue. Just a thought. It could put the whales in a very tight net.

  • MikeD

    Ray wrote, “In that regard, if rebate operators are not a friend of racing, neither is Platt.”

    Yeah Ray, let’s end all the rebate shops and see where handle is then. Are you really that frkking stupid? You think those big bettors are going to trudge out to the track? No, they will go back to betting more sports and poker. You know, the games without a 26% takeout. Do you post some of this crap just for traffic? Seems so.

  • Andrew A

    In all the time I have been a member of HANA I never received a solicitation from Jeff Platt asking me if I wanted to get rebates through any rebater.

    Jeff has told me and other people that he does get a commission. This isn’t breaking news Ray.

    Ray, don’t you think it’s a little over the top to refer to Jeff Platt as a “pimp”? What do we call you when you seem to take the side of the TOC and the CHRB time after time? Do you make money from California Racing? Are you sure that money isn’t influencing your opinions?

    I’ve asked you several times to do some reporting on the Retention Cap sponsored by the TOC that prevents California Horseplayers from receiving significant rebates. Where is that article?

    I’m not sure why you want to paint someone who shows Horseplayers how to get rebates or imply that someone who gets them is hurting Horse Racing.

    The truth is that Horse Racing did this to itself. Horseplayers didn’t create a climate where most players need rebates to survive.

  • Tom Horn

    Of course the signal fees are why rebaters exist … it couldn’t possibly be that the takeout is too high to begin with.

    Once again Ray you seem to have your head buried in the sand. Why is it OK for takeout to be used to support the horsemen and racetracks, but it’s not OK to use it to help customers?

  • #10 -Andrew A,

    Excellent post.

  • Jammer

    Ray is now just a “tool” for the racetracks and his advertisers.

    Who care what he writes because he has lost all credibility and has sold out.

  • John

    Ray Paulick: useful idiot.

  • David-LV

    Ray, it looks like you are the one that is not a friend of racing.
    There is no secrets in your anti horse player article.
    Get a life.

  • Ray Paulick


    Thanks for calling me “useful.” I appreciate that.

    As for me pimping or being a stooge of TOC or tracks, let me repeat something I’ve said many times before. I stand up first for the owners who invest in the horses. I am very interested in the point of view of owners, including several who spoke up at last week’s CHRB meeting in opposition to the takeout increase.

    I have had a long-held opinion about rebaters, and have written before, that I feel their participation in this game is that of nothing but a parasite.


  • Go Away Ray!!

    Your readers have it right, Ray. You are just an ignorant mouthpiece trying to stir up business for your website by twisting and turning facts which many of us already knew. How about doing a positive story for once in your life, say, about the 0% takeout at Cal Expo or other racetracks. I would rather have 100 Jeff Platts in racing than one Ray Paulick. Go Away, Ray!!!

  • ITP

    So Keeneland, who gives rebates to certain individuals on bets made at tracks other than Keeneland, is nothing but a parasite?

  • Little Big

    10% TAKEOUT on all bets solve the rebate problem and it gives the customer a better chance of staying longer before they go broke. The racetrack is still going to end up with all the money but it will take them a little longer. Things that make money in horse racing 1. A few owners and breeders. 2 A few high end trainers,jockeys and agents. 3 Race tracks. The losers are all the customers. GO on and raise the takeout to 90% it won’t take very long to get all the money.

  • Go Away Ray!!

    “I am very interested in the point of view of owners, including several who spoke up at last week’s CHRB meeting in opposition to the takeout increase.”

    You are delusional. The TOC voted for the takeout increase. Also, the only person at the meeting who spoke against the takeout was Roger Way and to a lesser extent, Mike Wellman. Unless Roger Way is an owner, your statement is inaccurate.

  • Ray Paulick

    Gary from Winning Ways Stable also took the opportunity to speak during the public comment period.

  • Ray Paulick


    What the tracks do with their own takeout money is their business. If they want to give it back to the horseplayers and that makes financial sense to them, then I’m all for it. My only concern is when a rebate shop undercuts the track and horsemen, they sell short the track and hurt the racing product. As I said, rebaters are the 800-pound gorilla, and that is crazy.

  • Indulto

    Well, Mr. Paulick, you certainly can be a double-edged sword. On one hand you finally speak out against the perversion of the pari-mutuel system that the practice of rebating high-volume players represents; including the reality that it tilts the playing field against those who are not equally subsidized. On the other hand, your motivation for doing so appears to be the opportunity to discredit someone you regard as a threat to the status quo in an industry whose dysfunctional leadership created and maintains this disparity of opportunity and self-destructive policy.

    I only know Mr. Platt through our interactions via the internet, but I have found him to be an inspiration, and someone for whom I have immense respect, despite our long-standing disagreement as to whether HANA should primarily be working to lower takeout directly versus effectively. His position, as I understood it, was that ideally direct takeout should be equal for all players at a rate low enough to attract enough players capable of making a profit at that rate to ensure stability and growth of the game.

    Regarding entrepreneurial commissions, you may not be aware that Mr. Platt has also benefited small-bankroll bettors by lowering their costs for past performance data exponentially. His volunteer work for HANA has undoubtedly increased his visibility and opportunities for compensation outside the betting windows, but he has also educated players in the same tradition as Messrs. Beyer, Crist, and Davidowitz. He has automated many players enabling them to lower the time it takes them to make past performance-based selections and thereby increase the number of informed plays they can confidently make across multiple tracks. Is that not good for the industry?

    Perhaps I’m wrong in my assessment of Mr. Platt, but then I may have been wrong about your contribution to the industry as well. We do want you to expose wrong-doing and hypocrisy when you encounter it, but I suspect that in this case, your work was colored by Mr. Platt’s role in opposition to special interests from whom you derive benefit. It might be interesting to learn now how long you’ve had this information that was apparently volunteered by Mr. Platt.

  • steve

    Ray Paulick’s a pimp for the TOC and the CHRB.

  • C Bea

    The tracks should be the ones controlling the best pricing to their product. What business works the way ours does? The RGS’ and Elite’s of the world should move to the trash heap. They serve to demonstrable purpose or value if the tracks manage their business properly.

    As to Jeff Platt criticizing the tracks on one hand and taking pay-offs to move their players online of offshore on the other I leave it to each person to discern whether this is the type of person you want to do business with. Or the type of person who really has the best intentions for the long-term health of our industry at heart. I don’t believe he does.

    But I also believe that Ray has no clue what he’s talking about as it relates to the rebaters. We need to attract and maintain relationships with these big players. But it should be done through direct relationships with the tracks not RGS or Elite.

  • Phar Lap

    “I leave it to each person to discern whether this is the type of person you want to do business with. “Or the type of person who really has the best intentions for the long-term health of our industry at heart. I don’t believe he does.”

    Well said C Bea.

  • BayouFund

    I made the following comment a couple weeks ago:
    “#15 about 11 days ago by BayouFund
    Huge rebates being offered by off-shore books to So. Cal track-playing whales must factor in. Individuals that you see on TV are pimping these books at The Frontrunner, The Trustee’s Room and Turf Club, poaching monies away from the host.”
    Everyone is looking for a cut of the action!!

  • ezbreeze

    Indulto, nice post!
    Ray, your willingess to speak your mind and divulge less than flattering information (like Doug O’neals communication with you about Mulhall) is welcomed, but I do get the feeling this, Platt is a pimp, call is over the top, and not necessary to make your point. I would also add, I have never received any soliciation from Mr. Platt so if he is pimping, he is doing it poorly.

  • Skipper

    If race track owners feel that the rates that have been negotiated with ADWs are too low then the race track owners should hire better negotiators.

  • Rebates benefit both the producers (racetrack) and the consumers (horseplayers).

    I’m the producer of the book Money Secrets At The Racetrack. I will make more money from a buyer if he purchases the book directly from me, and less if he buys it from Amazon. So why do I allow Amazon (a rebate shop) to distribute the book which will “undercut my revenue stream”? Because I’ll sell many more books.

    As a consumer, I don’t care what Barry’s expenses are. I just want the best price. With the extra savings, I might buy more books.

    It’s true that racetracks underpriced their signal price years ago, and some smart businessmen came up with the idea of rebating most of their profits back to horseplayers. These days, these rebate shops are charged much more, but putting them out of business isn’t going to help horse racing. At many tracks, rebaters count for 10-15% of the handle or more. Eliminate the rebate shops and the rebate customers may disappear altogether.

    Over the years, I’ve played with rebate shops, with offshore racebooks where the money doesn’t go into the pools, with illegal bookmakers who offered me rebates, and with betting exchanges. I’ve also played on track and with ADW’s such as Xpressbet and Youbet. I’ve played exponentially more when I’ve gotten strong rebates. In fact, a couple of years ago when I was between rebate shops, I took a vacation in the middle of the Santa Anita winter meeting (which i hadn’t done in 20 years) and bet zero.

    If I was told tomorrow that I could never get any more rebates, I’d stop playing.

    In the gambling world, if I lose $1 million on a gambling trip to Las Vegas, management will kick back $100,000 or $150,000 to me. If I lose $100, I’ll get nothing. In any business, the best customers get the best rates. Why should it be any different in horse racing?

    Not everybody pays the same, for anything–not for airline seats, or basketball tickets, or pillows at a department store. Some people use coupons, some get store rewards, some are in buying clubs, etc. It’s purely a racetrack fantasy that if rebate shops closed, these players would come back to the track.

    One more thing. Many businesses pay referral fees to anyone bringing them good customers. Jeff Platt has been working tirelessly for all horseplayers, and part of what he does is to educate track executives and officials that reducing takeout for all players–not just rebaters–would benefit the industry. To believe he’s a tool of some rebate shop is beyond ridiculous. He’s pro-player–period.

  • Indulto

    Thanks. The task before us now is to show Mr. Paulick and others who wish to derail the boycott that they can’t intimidate its supporters by attempting to damage their reputations. Criticism, scorn, and satire are all acceptable weapons against an on-line opponent’s position or credibility, but character-assassination is going too far.

    I urge Paulick Report readers to visit the and websites and read the writings of this man who has long been the most articulate advocate for respect for horseplayers. I hope he has not been disheartened by this development, and will continue leading and supporting other participants in a renewed effort to oppose the oppressive and dysfunctional thinking, policies, and actions that are destroying our pastime.

    I believe this piece by Mr. Paulick will backfire on those he represents by strengthening the resolve of others who believe this is a battle that must be won against forces that will apparently stop at nothing to protect their own interests.

  • Trappeddownontherail

    Thoughtful post, Barry, but if I am reading Ray’s piece correctly he is saying that transparency is the issue here. If you go into a car dealership, you know the salesman is getting a commission. If you join HANA, should you know that its founder is getting commission from non-track shops and therefore he has a vested interest in driving bettors in that direction?

    I would not have used the ‘pimp’ word myself, but it is Ray’s site and he does a wonderful job trying to energize a tepid, dysfunctional and failing industry – one failing largely because the folks who put on the show are getting short-changed. Admittedly, by their own stupidity, in many instances, but…something has to be done or we will all having nothing left to argue about.

    Quite apart from this issue, I find HANA a puzzle because it is not consistent on issues. For example, it is angry at the CHRB over higher take-out, fair enough, but silent on the Life at Ten fiasco which cost bettors a couple of million dollars in a stone cold minute. The only rationale for the latter I can find on their web site is that it has said nothing because others, including this site, are saying something. Curious.

    Anyway, I am not one to condemn Ray Paulick. To me, he continues to rasp away at issues which have to be addressed if this industry is to survive. If he ruffles some feathers along the way, so be it. But this is an industry which is getting plucked naked and if it does not get its act together soon it will represent a word that rhymes with ‘plucked.’

  • Brad Cummings

    Ray is traveling today but wanted me to pass this along. Here is an email from Platt that a horseplayer brought to Ray’s attention. He simply followed through to see what Platt had to say and Platt confirmed it as truth.

    “Dear xxx:

    I want to talk to you about one of racing’s most pressing issues: High Takeout.

    Not only did I want to address it with you, I have a way to help you to reduce it: Rebates.

    A rebate is a cash reward paid on every wager you make win or lose. The amount of the reward will vary by track and bet type. It can be as high as 20% or more on certain bet types at certain tracks.

    Every successful player that I know is playing with a rebate … you should be too.

    I have marketing relationships with a number of account wagering companies that are very interested in paying you rebates to win your business.

    All of them are legal licensed ADWs here in the U.S. and all are 100% pari-mutuel.

    If you are not getting a rebate where you are playing now… or if you think your rates could be higher –

    Please drop me a line. I will be happy to email you specifics.

    To your wagering success,
    Jeff Platt”

  • Brad Cummings

    Oh and by the way, whether you agree or disagree with Ray’s stances here, it is inarguable that no other major publication has given the amount of time to the boycott that the Paulick Report has. To say that we’ve tried to stifle voices or those supporting the boycott is highly inaccurate.

  • Brad Cummings

    And Indulto, Ray does not support anyone’s viewpoints except his own. As someone who has been published on this site numerous times, I’d expect you to have a higher standard of dialogue than that.

  • Winning Ways Stable

    Perhaps we can chat respectfully on this blog and tone down the nasty rhetoric?!! What is this,

    Regarding this thread, If it can be proven that the non-profit HANA is taking commissions for referrals, that would be disgraceful.Their website clearly states that they are a non-profit.

    Ray is absolutely right. MY father Gary did offer a full-throated defense of horseplayers last week at the CHRB meeting.

    I’d venture to bet that my father, as a renowned horseplayer, owner, breeder, father of a well-known California trainer, has a better read on this that most people.

    Since President’s Day 1955, my dad has been a fixture at Santa Anita nearly every day. He is one of the only day-in, day-out gamblers who has made a living at the track.

    How many horseplayers raised their family north of Sunset Blvd. in Beverly Hills? My dad did.

    My dad is sickened by the takeout increase! He is also sickened by the structural (and some might say, moral) flaws in the TOC, CHRB, and the off-shore pirates.

    The transcript will be up in a few days. Since there are so many impassioned people on this blog, perhaps you will take the time to read the comments to the Board.

    Additionally, aside from the takeout problem, what suggestions do the posters have to increase handle?

    A reduced takeout for players who bet AT the track?

    Sadly, rolling back the takeout isn’t the only solution to increase handle. We need to do more than think outside the box; we need to blow up the box.

    Yes, there are grave concerns about the CHRB-TOC-Betfair relationships. Is it incestuous? That will be up to the Courts to adjudicate, and not anonymous bloggers.

    In the near-future, I can imagine a reduction in the exotics takeout rate.

    This alone will not solve the problems of a industry that pays out $1 billion, but costs $2 billion. The math simply doesn’t work, folks. For horse owners AND bettors, it simply doesn’t work! We know, we’re both owners and bettors. They are not mutually exclusive.

    Lastly, don’t be surprised if Santa Anita immediately institutes a $1 Pick Five bet with 15% takeout. The payout would be if all five races are hit, with NO consolations. Otherwise, there would be a carryover.

    Would you play this?

    Thank you for your invaluable forum, Ray. If only the Blood-Horse and the DRF would do the same for horseplayers, owners, breeders, and fans.

    Kindest regards.

  • PTP

    Winning ways wrote – “If it can be proven that the non-profit HANA is taking commissions for referrals, that would be disgraceful.Their website clearly states that they are a non-profit. ”

    That’s what the article seems to allude. It’s false of course, but let’s see if Ray and Brad step up and say they made a mistake, in black and white.

    If they or their website have an ounce of integrity they will.


  • MikeD

    When did horseplayers getting rebates become the bad guys? The reality of the situation is Jeff has probably pointed some horseplayers from Twinspires and Xpressbet (both advertised here on Paulick Report) to other LEGAL ADW’s that offer better rewards to players.

    The article was an embarrassing attempt by Ray to discredit Jeff. And then Brad piled on.

    I hope California, the breeders and bloodstock guys are paying top dollar for those ad banners. Because you ain’t going to make much money advertising Xpressbet and Twinspires when you finish alienating the rest of the horseplayers that still read this crap.

  • Winning Ways Stable

    @PTP….I’ve never known PR to be anything but a stand-up outfit. Didn’t Brad Cummings just post this email?:

    “Dear xxx:

    I want to talk to you about one of racing’s most pressing issues: High Takeout.

    Not only did I want to address it with you, I have a way to help you to reduce it: Rebates.

    A rebate is a cash reward paid on every wager you make win or lose. The amount of the reward will vary by track and bet type. It can be as high as 20% or more on certain bet types at certain tracks.

    Every successful player that I know is playing with a rebate … you should be too.

    I have marketing relationships with a number of account wagering companies that are very interested in paying you rebates to win your business.

    All of them are legal licensed ADWs here in the U.S. and all are 100% pari-mutuel.

    If you are not getting a rebate where you are playing now… or if you think your rates could be higher –

    Please drop me a line. I will be happy to email you specifics.

    To your wagering success,
    Jeff Platt”

    If there is any doubt, I’m sure they will scan the email, and post to their website. And when they do this, I expect you and the others to apologize to them. “IN BLACK AND WHITE.”

    Then perhaps we can get back to finding constructive solutions for owner, bettor, and fans of our beloved sport.

    Kindest regards.

    @Mike— Horesplayers getting the rebates are not the “bad guys.” However the entire structure is inherently flawed. The people that own the horses cannot continue to give eleven cents to earn a dime. And horseplayers cannot afford a 25% takeout. Clearly you see both sides of the issue.

  • TurfRuler

    I’ve lived in North Carolina for the last 22 years and not one time living in this state have I been allowed to open a telephone betting account or a ADW account with any of the firms that offer such. In other words I try not to do things that are illegal. Maybe I could have opened an off-shore account, but I would be violating North Carolina law, which I was unable to make myself do. I’ve known about telephone wagering and ADW’S and rebaters since they began and I never heard of Jeff Platt until HANA. Being a horseplayer, I joined HANA. Being a horesplayer I can not wager on horse racing living in my own State where I was born. Ray don’t hate the player, hate the game.

  • PTP

    Winning Ways wrote: “Didn’t Brad Cummings just post this email?: ”

    He did. Ask him where it came from. And ask him to print a retraction.

    The email is from Jeff’s private business to his private clients. He has offered them a way to get better ROI and be happier customers and still play in the pari-mutuel pools rather than in offshore books (so tracks and horsemen can get some money back where it belongs). It is not from HANA.

    HANA’s email list is private, confidential and beyond reproach for anyone to use commercially.

    HANA’s income statement only includes money from donations from horseplayers. Any money spent so far has been for two things

    1) Marketing
    2) Donations to horse retirement farms.

    To say anything else of the sort, or to take private emails and purport them to be from a horseplayer organization is simply false.

    It is up to the readers of the Paulick Report to decide. The ball is in Brad and Ray’s court.

    Let’s see if they make the right choice.


  • Fat Tuesday

    “In emails he has sent out and in a sales pitch on his website, Platt has been soliciting horseplayers to sign up with rebaters that he said he is associated with. Platt said he has no “financial stake” in those rebate operations, though he admitted to the Paulick Report that he receives commissions whenever someone he recruits becomes a customer of a rebater. Platt, thus, has a financial interest in moving horseplayers from the racetrack to rebate operations.”

    This doesn’t stipulate if they are personal or company emails. But there is STILL an inherent conflict of interest! Or at least, an appearance of one.

  • John

    Clearly Paulick has an axe to grind against horseplayers. Without the horseplayers, there is NO show. They can go back to running races back on their farms with 10 people watching. The sport is, and always will be about gambling. Deal with it.

  • Toothless

    I’d say that a piece like this is meant to draw the eye away from some real… but apparently this is the 800lb gorilla in the room undermining the sport.

    This must be Planet of the Uncommonly Enormous Apes if I’m to buy that implication.

  • ezbreeze

    Hey TurfRuler,
    I moved to Virginia 7 years ago from N.C. in part so I could legally wager on the races. If you’d like email me at [email protected], I’d like to commune with you.

  • Fat Tuesday

    Chicken and egg! Without the players there are no purses, without the owners there are no horses, without the track, there is nowhere to race.

    Can’t the posters all agree that that the ENTIRE financial structure is broken? For bettors, owners, and track operators alike!

    And yes, the bookmakers/”pirates” do not contribute to the Sport. Plain and simple.

  • Fat Tuesday

    LOL… Gotta love the bible belt. ;) Sanctimonious hypocrites; you can bet the lottery but not horses…It’s time to move!

  • Smells BS

    Never understood why Platt and a few others of his deny the truth–ya, the good they do is good at times–but ultimately they are cons–I’v e been a horseplayer for 20 years, and I’ve never saw HANA as what they “claim” to be.

  • Blind sheep.

    Bah, bah, bah.

    Someone pointed all of this out last April and was shouted the down by the usual, touts shills and authors.

    Whole movement going to be discredited because of a slimy individual in charge.

  • 99% the email list came from NYRA or NTRA and surely wasn’t sold on the up and up by them.

    What an abortive joke this.

  • Can a pimp call someone else a pimp? Neither one of these guys are legit…shills..the both of them.

  • IF one cannot see that the ADWS taking out 10times as much of a cut as they should is not a problem than one is blind. The going rate for the commodity of transaction processing in the US is between 1/2 of 1% and 3/4 of 1%-are the ADWS rebating down to that level to the players?

    and I don’t buy for a second that if it went to 3/4 of `1% all the ADWS would go away either.

    They cannabalized existing business under the same sales pitch Betfair will soon be cannabalizing existing business and taking out even more.
    Younger players blah, blah,blah.

    The tracks suck and have abused the players beyond belief for an enternity plus a day,

    the ADWS suck too, the fact that they rule the supposed “player’s” advocacy group is beyond.

  • Randy Fitts

    To me the real issue is the conflict of interest Platt has, his denial of it only to admit it later on and then his response. Glad to see the bullies put in their place. Great work Ray.

  • @Barry Meadow


    Advisory Board:
    Cary Fotias
    Dr. William Ziemba
    Nick Mordin
    Barry Meadow
    John Pricci

    Perhaps Barry Meadow should inform PR readers that he is associated with HANA. That is his right, but he neglected to say that when he posted to this blog..

    And IMHO~~ All the guys who write books, sell selections, never win. It’s the guys who quietly play the races that win. Not the touts!

  • Trappeddownontherail

    PTP: I am sure Ray can stand up for himself, but before becoming even more accusatory you might want to go back and read the article slowly. He does not accuse HANA of anything. He is talking about PLATT, not HANA. If the two are indistinguishable then there may indeed be a larger problem for both.

    This is the relevant paragraph in Ray’s article: “But I do think racetracks that deal with HANA should know that the organization is run by someone who is actively soliciting some of their best customers to wager through a system that pays the tracks – and, as a result, pays purses – less money.”

  • I will wait for Lester and rupple to return from the big meeting with DMTC today before I post anything more

  • Sunlight is the best didinfectant

    I just sent Jeff Platt an email asking if he earns referral fees/commissions on ADW players. Waiting for a response.

    As Justice Brandeis famously said, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

    Keep you posted.

    PS Great posts Rayfitts and trappedontherail

  • Beckron

    Finally FINALLY someone telling the truth. Thank you Ray!

  • PTP


    I can read.

    Commenters tell the gist of a story. If the story is good and sound, the commenters will tell you by their comments.

    The comments here (many of them, just take a look) imply HANA’s email list has been getting these emails. It is not the truth.

    All Brad had to say is “we received this email from 2007 or 2008 or whenever it was, that was sent to some of Jeff’s private customers, not HANA members as commenters have alluded”

    That’s the fair thing to do no?


  • Trappeddownontherail

    No, PTP. Although comments beneath a story are occasionally edifying and often entertaining, they do not represent the author or the article.

    Take issue with what commenters ‘imply’ by all means, but I think Ray and Brad made clear that this was a private communication from Patt and not HANA.

  • Email Jeff and ask!

    [email protected]

    Just email Jeff and ASK HIM if he gets commissions from players.

    If he does, that is a shady way to support the sport.

  • RickHulce

    Does anyone in their right mind think that the guys who put together huge group Pick 6 tickets and other exotic tickets at So. Cal tracks to get full odds aren’t getting huge rebates on their straight bet transactions made though offshore bookmakers? These wagering $$$ never make it into the track pool and the players get nice rotation books as well.

  • LexKY

    PTP (#59)

    “Commenters tell the gist of a story. If the story is good and sound, the commenters will tell you by their comments.”

    Is this your first day on the internet?

  • PTP

    “Is this your first day on the internet? ”

    Yes, I just got a computer last week.

    I do see a 90% to 9% poll though and following twitter etc, it seems that the comments are swinging one way so far.


  • Roger W

    Sharp Article Ray

  • Just asking….

    Is PTP on PCP?

  • Skip Away

    Takeout cannot be lowered to the 10-12% range that players want without either destroying purses (and owners) or making simulcasting a losing endeavor. Tracks pay between 3-6% to purchase signals, then typically 4-6% for purses. This does not even include additional percentages for Owner/Breeder awards, regulatory funding or other statutory requirements. Tracks would be working at or near a deficit for any simulcast signal, and would lose significantly on prominent signals that charge on the high end.

  • Brad Cummings

    For those who would like to see further evidence of Jeff Platt’s relationship with rebate business, please click here ( It is basically a longer form version of the email put in the comments section (#33) and ends with a disclaimer that he receives a referral fee (we aren’t sure when that disclaimer was added). Again, the Paulick Report has not said that HANA has anything to do with Mr. Platt’s referral business. In fact, Mr. Platt told the Paulick Report he received the list he distributed his email to in exchange for some software programming he did and claims to not know where the list originated.

  • BayouFund

    Undisclosed kickbacks (commissions) are a way of life in the horse business. Whether it is a bloodstock agent getting a thank-you note from an auction consigner as well as his normal 5-10% from a client, trainers getting huge monies from vets, feed companies, insurance brokers, jockey agents etc.–so it makes perfect sense that anyone who is associated with an ADW, a rebate shop, an offshore book, or his local BM in any fashion has an opportunity to get a commission, override, agent’s fee, etc.–just be upfront about it.

  • CG

    Skip Away, at least in theory, at a 12% takeout, there would be at least double the handle we see today. Of course, signal fees would have to drop in proportion of the takeout drop for this to work, as would the actual percentage of each dollar tracks and owners get.

    What is better for owners? 8% of 11 billion, or 5% if 22 billion?

  • Support the sport

    If Jeff Platt wants to help save the sport, then why is he taking players off the track, and into rebate outfits? Oh. Money!

    The rebate outfits and bookies don’t SUPPORT the growth of the sport! They are parasites!

  • BTW shame on Paulick for trying to discredit the movement based on the actions of one individual.

    Just think if the tracks priced their product properly there would no non track based ADWS.

    The other 1% of possible sources for anyone keeping track,

    are phonebet, PTC, HTR or PA-hey PA you censoring snakeoil salesman you selling our email addresses?

    Rick thanks for some hilarious stuff,
    no believe the offshore bookies are booking potential multi million dollar cashouts.

  • Skip Away

    CG, show me a track that doubled it’s handle by halving the takeout. Gulfstream charges 26% for Trifectas and Superfectas and 15% for the Pick 5. Yesterday, they handled $155k in the Tri pool, $125 in the Super and $105 in the P5.

  • PTP

    “the Paulick Report has not said that HANA has anything to do with Mr. Platt’s referral business.”

    Finally. I wish you would have said it earlier instead of letting horsemen like Peter Miller dangle in the wind.

    Bloggers do it all the time when commenters get off track as a matter of principle. It doesnt take them four pages to, and they are supposed to be the non-journalists.


  • Support the sport


    rick wrote: “aren’t getting huge rebates on their STRAIGHT bet transactions made though offshore bookmakers?”

    He was referring to straight bets, NOT p/6!

    Also, I hardly think that Ray is trying to discredit the movement. He is just shining a light on the shady practices of their fearless leader. hey, if he wants to take kickbacks, then that’s fine. he should just disclose that! Just like Glenn Beck talking down the US dollar and making money off of Goldline. Full disclosure matey!

    YES, I want lower takeout. But the rebate outfits are parasites that offer NOTHING to the sport.

    It costs a lot of money to run a racetrack, and it costs a lot of money to race a horse. $30-40,000 a year!

  • CG

    It would have to be industry wide for it to work. It takes a little time too, but in the end racing would be growing in leaps and bounds.
    It would work.
    Betfair knows it too, though I believe a more equitable cut could be achieved once exchange betting comes to the US.
    Show me where raising the blended takeout rate increased revenues one dollar over time? That is a more important question because that is what the “brainiacs” did in California.

  • Derby

    enough of this… I need a winner at Parx. Any help?

  • $2 bettor

    This stinks!! RGS is based in st kitts.. nice

    Racing and Gaming Services St Kitts Ltd was formed for the sole purpose of operating a pari-mutuel telephone wagering company. RGS processes pari-mutuel wagers exclusively and has never conducted any other business. RGS has at all times operated exclusively from the island of St. Kitts. With the exception of Christmas and hurricane days, RGS operates 7 days a week processing wagers for racetracks across the U.S. and Canada. RGS is a private company and its shares have never been publicly traded.

  • Ray Paulick

    PTP … I’m sorry, but what part of this sentence is unclear?

    “In emails he has sent out and in a sales pitch on his website, Platt has been soliciting horseplayers to sign up with rebaters that he said he is associated with.”

    It did not say in emails HANA has sent out, and it did not say on the HANA website.

  • Dennis Hoff/Moonlight Bunny Ranch

    Trust me, I know a thing or two about pimpin’.

    A) Pimpin’ ain’t easy.

    B) If it walks like a pimp, and talks like a pimp….

    Like Dr. Arthur, Clearly you’ve touched a nerve….Thanks for the excellent article, Mr. Paulick!

  • Skip Away

    While I fundamentally disagree that wholesale takeout cuts would have the desired effect, it certainly would take the entire industry to give it a shot. California was an absolute mess way before the takeout increase. Check out the previous Hollywood Park meet and you will see very similar declines. As for Betfair, tracks receive less than half a percent of each bet. I find it hard to believe handle would increase enough to make that work, particularly when it doesn’t include exotics.

  • Maybe you should ck out my survey of why online sports and poker players avoid racing like the plague. IT isn’t because it is too cheap. Here have people already predisposed to gamble online who won’t play your game because they know they cannot win.
    How stupid are the tracks and horsemen exactly?

    Stupid enough to now believe the cancer that is Betfair will save the day even though they ran racing into the ground in the UK.

    Yea the poor old horsemen where the slot states pay them to run horses around in circles and nobody else cares.

    Costs $30-40 K before depreciating the animal 100% in a year and writing the rest off as an expense.

    It costs the horse players 20cents and up in after tax money on every bet,

    even though 80% of them won’t set foot at an actual track.

    Everyone makes out while the players get crapped on repeatedly and perpetually.

    GMAFBA the players if they haven’t already should have figured out by now the self serving pompous arrogant horsemen are the enemy too.

    They could collectively care less about the future of the sport.

    No 20% and up isn’t enough we get bombarded with guilt laden adverts abt taking care of retired horses.

    More comedy we have offshores who now have unlimited pockets to pay off straight bets. A newsflash for you and the other guy who is lost as lost can be,

    the offshore out of tote business besides Betfair is virtually dead it died with the UGIEA. They don’t to winners forever and the losers don’t jump through hoops to send money offshore.

    Put blame where it belongs on the idiots running the tracks, the idiot horsemen and the idiot shills like Ray Paulick who devoutly support the complete annihilation of the sport for a dollar.

  • CG

    Skip Away, personally, I stopped betting California when Arnie signed the bill. I know I was not alone. Perhaps that is part of the reason for Hollywood’s drop in handle.
    The reason why California’s takeout hike will fail is because they were relatively cheap, and now they are relatively more expensive. Their handle will lag behind the rest of the industry until the takeout hike is rescinded.
    They moved it away from optimal levels. If they were smart, they would have inched closer to optimal levels.
    California’s plight won’t be solved by increasing takeout.
    They are somewhat isolated when it comes to racing population and it costs an arm and a leg to own a horse there. The solution is to either lower the takeout or lower the cost to own a horse there.
    But increasing the takeout is going to make it a lot worse.

  • Hater

    I’m a hater, but breakage is the Ayatollah of haters. Yikes!

  • Skip Away

    I stopped betting California because of field size, plain and simple. This Thursday is a perfect example, 8 races, 57 horses before scratches. I have a feeling their handle would be up year-to-year if they were averaging 10 starters per race, regardless of the boycott.

  • CG

    Skip Away, I don’t think their field size is down much from last year if at all. I don’t see field size improving as the track has been playing hard, and besides breakdowns, horses that come back sore from races and training don’t tend to make many starts.
    Also, I’m a little perplexed about the purse increase. The average money given out each day doesn’t look like it is anything close to 25% higher. If that is the case, no wonder they aren’t panicking……YET.

  • Skip Away

    They increased the purse structure, not necessarily the purses. If they card fewer or lower level races, they will not be paying out 25% more. Same thing with Monmouth’s $1 Million per day last year. It ended up far less than that.

  • Concerned Horseplayer

    Nice to see Ray Paulick is finally uncovering the facts of HANA..they have only been concerned about their own interests since Day matter what rhetoric they use they have never cared about doing what is best for the sport.

  • lasix

    Very disappointed Ray in your view of Mr. Platt. He is and has always been an upstanding guy and obviously you do not know him very well. You have now lost another follower, and yes I am a horseplayer.

  • For those of you who do not know me, I am a lifelong race fan. I have been betting horses on a regular basis since 1981.

    I am the creator of JCapper, a handicapping software business launched in 2003. In addition to revenue from selling software, I receive monthly commission checks from Handicapper’s Data Warehouse (a licensed Equibase reseller.) The monthly commission amount varies from one month to the next. It is based on the number of JCapper subscribers downloading from HDW each month.

    Over the years I have made a number of industry contacts in the ADW market space. In the fall of 2009 I began helping interested players from the JCapper user community find rebates. Yes. I receive compensation for this in the form of referral fees. This should come as no surprise to anybody. Many others are out there doing the same thing.

    The email posted by Brad did come from me. I sent it out last year to a list of my in house JCapper customers as well as to a list of about 300 adw players that I obtained privately. The email was sent out once only. There was an opt out/unsubscribe link embedded in the body of the email. Even though the response rate was close to 10% (which is pretty good for a cold email) I elected not to do a follow up email.

    A few days ago, Ray sent me an email asking me to comment on the email posted by Brad earlier in this thread. Ray asked me how much money I earned last year in the form of referral fees for helping my customers find rebates. I was (understandably) agitated at the question. (Imagine how any of you might feel if someone you did not know were asking for details about items going on your tax return.) But I was truthful and told Ray the dollar amount in question was less than 10k.

    Ray asked me to name the private source of the 300 adw names mentioned above. I declined. However, I was truthful and did tell Ray the private name list was given to me as a direct result of computer programming I did to help out a fellow bettor.

    Ray also asked if I was tapping the HANA member database to send offers for my services out to HANA members. I was (understandably) agitated at this question as well. But again, I was truthful and told him emphatically: NO.

    JCapper was launched in 2003.

    HANA was formed in 2008. For those of you who may not know, there are no paid positions at HANA. ALL of the people involved with HANA, myself included, are volunteers.

    I have never (as in not even once) used the HANA member database as a source of names to market to. I have never shared HANA member contact info with outside third parties, nor will I or anyone associated with HANA ever willingly allow that to happen.

    My response to Ray’s emails contained ALL of the information posted in my comments above. For whatever reason, Ray chose to cherry pick from among the above facts when he penned today’s article – which I can only conclude was meant as an attempt to smear both myself and HANA.

    Jeff Platt
    President, HANA

  • RickHulce

    [email protected]:
    Glad that someone can laugh on this board!! Straight bet = WPS in my example. Sorry for the confusion and I appreciate many of your excellent points.

  • Chico

    This is a pretty irresponsible piece. How about taking less time finding ever increasing ways to fit the words “Ray” and/or “Paulick” on this site and spend more time thinking through content. Have you considered chaning the URL to http://www.paulickreport.ray/Paulick/ITHINKIMDONALDTRUMP/

  • Skipper

    These attacks on Jeff Platt and HANA seem like they are in retaliation for the boycott that was called by http://www/

    If racetracks don’t like rebates then they shouldn’t sell their signals. That seems like a pretty easy solution, right? So for those rebate haters out there, why aren’t you blaming the tracks? It’s their signal.

  • CG

    Jeff, so you weren’t even doing what Ray has accused you of doing. If your list was of ADW players, you were not diverting them from the track to a rebate shop, but diverting them from an ADW that gave little or no rebates to those that give larger rebates.
    In fact, you were doing tracks and horsemen a favor since the non rebate ADWs get the difference between signal fee and takeout, while rebate shops at least give the Horseplayer back some of that difference, which causes them to churn more, and the tracks and horsemen actually wind up with more money in the end if the Horseplayer uses the rebate shop.

  • Personal Ensign

    If Jeff wants to help the sport that he loves so much, then he shouldn’t be promoting outfits that do NOTHING for the sport. He has a website and a megaphone…. Let him use it to help racing, not fleece it!

  • The ultimate bottomline here:

    The tracks could price the ADWS out of business if they themselves would just price the product properly.

    So stop blaming Jeff and the others for a situation the tracks are 100% at fault for creating.

  • Toothless

    “If Jeff wants to help the sport that he loves so much, then he shouldn’t be promoting outfits that do NOTHING for the sport. He has a website and a megaphone…. Let him use it to help racing, not fleece it!” — a blue blooded horseperson named Personal Ensign

    Yes, Mr. Platt – encourage the customers that you represent to inconvenience themselves and pay an exorbitant rate to help subsidize the salaries of a full field of non-winners of the century that call the solution a problem.

  • Scurlin

    What’s the matter Ray, Jeff wouldn’t donate a copy of JCapper?

  • Phar Lap

    “which causes them to churn more, and the tracks and horsemen actually wind up with more money in the end if the Horseplayer uses the rebate shop. ”

    Could you actually prove this or does it just sound nice on paper? Seriously.

  • CG

    Pharlap, do you think a bettor who gets back money from a rebater goes out and buys a new suit with the rebate money?

  • Skipper

    It would be easy to prove… just shut off the rebating ADWs and then watch what happens to handle and wait and see if handle ever returns to the rebating era levels.

  • BS Detector

    So Ray, how much of a kickback did YOU get for this sloppy attempt at a hatchet job?

    I couldn’t manage to cut through your BS and figure out how exactly forgoing rebate shops is good for the player. Maybe because it’ll make us tap out sooner so we can spend more time with our friends and families doing something constructive? That’s about the only benefit that would make sense to me.

    But for anyone seriously attempting to be competitive, it makes zero sense to overpay. If someone wants my business, they have to set reasonable prices. A 20% takeout is not reasonably pricing. Do you always make it a habit to subsidize bad business models?

  • Phar Lap

    CG. That’s not the point. Unless you have numbers/evidence, you can’t claim that the increased churn rate from rebates benefits the track more so than if the take-out was directed to the track/horsemen.

    It’s guess work and message board babble that sounds nice…though not to say it couldn’t be true.

  • CG

    Phar Lap, read my post again. I stated that if a bettor plays at a rebate ADW, tracks and horsemen are better off than if they bet at a non rebate ADW, because they have more to play with. Slots prove that the more you give back, the more a player will churn, and each time a churn bet is made, the track benefits.
    I have no interest in playing at the track, so if ADWs were to disappear tomorrow, I would find a new hobby.
    To be honest, I might go to the track 4 or 5 times a year, instead of playing almost every day.
    The longer one lasts, the longer they play, and most importantly, they will play other forms of gambling a lot less.

  • Tinky

    Platt’s response illustrates the the skeptics were correct: Ray has, for whatever reason(s), produced this ‘story’ without adhering to good journalistic standards.

    To begin with, Brad and Ray’s weak protests aside, there was clear intent to smear HANA. There is zero chance that this story would have been written had Platt not been associated with HANA, and neither Ray nor Brad can credibly argue that they couldn’t have expected readers to conflate the connection.

    Secondly, assuming the accuracy of Platt’s comment, he never made any effort to lure on-track patrons to the den of iniquity (i.e. (rebate shops), but rather from some ADWs to others.

    Next – Platt is a “pimp”? That’s rich, coming from someone whose editorial content is reflecting increasingly strong biases in favor of those who pay to advertise on his site. Let’s see, Ray has been critical of the KY Stewards (no revenue streams there); Jeff Mullins (ditto), HANA, etc. Yet by his own admission, he is concerned about owners (indirect revenues as prime targets of much advertising), breeders (revenue streams), and racetracks (ditto). But remember: Platt’s a “pimp”.

    I could go on, but I’ll let others do so.

  • Blame

    If Ray was in bed with the KY breeders, he would have supported ME, and not Zenyatta!

  • Santa Anita might have a P-5 at 15% rate…..okay.The pool size will be equal to one exacta so that’s not much of a discomfort for track/horsemen and gets good media response.

    Why can’t major tracks just have ONE takeout rate at 17% as a nice compromise between track/horsemen and customers.The changing rates and various high rates on different exotic wagers only confuse and turn-off customers.Simplicity + Execution = SUCCESS…..lets push for ONE rate that we can all live with.

  • jim

    Color me shocked. You fools supporting HANA are helping kill the game you think you’re trying to save. What a surprise. And, the guy is making money off of you dolts. What a scam. A Ponzi scheme of stupidity. I have no idea why the National HBPA doesn’t cut all rebate shops off; none.

  • CG

    Hey Jim, how is trying to move customers from a non rebating ADW to a rebating one killing the game? In fact, as I pointed out earlier, it is helping the horsemen and tracks.
    Racing’s biggest problem is that HBPA’s have a say in the pricing of the product to the consumers. They should just worry about what cut of the profits they get, not how profits are derived.
    If rebate shops were to close tomorrow, handle would plummet to all time lows and never recover. I think the HBPA’s even know that, but not you Jim. You’ve proven your ignorance here.

  • Indulto

    Let #105 be known as the “Tinky Defense.” Please don’t stop now. LOL!

  • clyde

    Ray doesnt like people that get rebates because Ray doesnt bet enough to get a rebate!

  • Randy Fitts

    Ever hear the old saying “don’t poke the bear”? HANA has been poking the bear for some time now. We reap what we sow.

  • jim

    No CG, you don’t understand math. Rebate shops offer the strong likelihood of artificially making their players +ROI winners. Therefore, with more churn, money is diverted slowly to the shops instead of to players at the track and in the simulcast shops. This “free money” is then gradually bet at the lower %’s (relative to the purses), instead of the higher ones. Local players bust faster with these people in the pools and purses go down. Rather, you have shown your ignorance, and no doubt the HBPA leaders flunked math like you did.

  • CG

    Jim, better players, no matter where, make it worse for players who have worse ROI’s. It doesn’t matter if they play at rebate shops or not. However, it is smart for Horseplayers to bet at rebate shops if they are close to being winners at the game.
    Now, take rebate money out of circulation, and you would lose probably half the handle. And because there would be no hope playing against at 21% blended takeout rate, the players at the track and the non rebating ADWs would start disappearing anyway.
    The best solution is to lower takeouts everywhere. The second best solution is to allow rebates everywhere.
    But eliminating rebates would kill the game quickly and it would never recover. That segment is the only hope to draw in new blood by word of mouth that there are a few winners.

  • jack brown

    I WAS a big fan of Ray Paulick, until he became pompous and judgmental. I got a death threat, and, before Ray HEARD the evidence made a judgment based on Nothing…Is that how investigative reporters conduct themselves? Ray is probably a good man, but he is NO friend.

  • Jim flunks math too

    On-track players are completely unaffected by the amount of money being bet at rebate shops, unless the rebate shop bettors are smarter players than the on-track bettors, thus depressing the odds on winning horses.

    This MAY very well be true, since on-track players betting into a 20% takeout can’t be too bright, but it completely negates the causality of the argument you’re attempting to make.

  • jim

    In your scenario, though CG, purses would be next to nothing. You know as well as I do that the racetrack needs the full pricers to feed purses.

    To your credit, you concede that rebate players are raising the effective takeout on disadvantaged ones without them. Its a stunning level of hypocrisy, however, to see the president of HANA ranting about takeout and riling up all the minions when he in fact exacerbates the effective takeout over the very players he claims to represent. Again, you can surely concede this, too.

    You can doomsday the scenario all you want, but the smartest thing that the tracks could do is cut the rebate shops off, or raise the rates on them drastically.

  • jim

    Hey JFMT, were you stuck in ESL classes while you polished those math skills you’re so proud of? I said, “Rebate shops offer the strong likelihood of artificially making their players +ROI winners.”…notice the word “likelihood”…

  • CG

    Jim, I won’t concede that at all. What tracks need to do is to reduce takeout drastically or allow rebating everywhere, and let it be the players choice.
    No, it wouldn’t hurt purses at all. Rebates are available in almost 40 states and to everyone if they shop around enough. If everyone played at a reduced takeout rate or with rebates, purse would soar as there would be lots more new blood in the game.
    Educating Horseplayers that rebates are the way to go is good for the industry at this time as it is the only way to win. So Jeff is doing the right thing promoting them.
    If all Horseplayers went that route, states that make it difficult to get rebates would cave, and the industry would win big time as Horseplayers would finally be playing at optimal takeout levels where tracks and horsemen make the most money.

  • I declare CG the overwhelming winner over Jim….hands down and thumbs up.

  • Crazy Talk

    “the smartest thing that the tracks could do is cut the rebate shops off, or raise the rates on them drastically.”

    Insane. Completely insane. The players that drive handle would completely disappear. If anyone is looking to completely kill this game, you’re definitely the guy they’d want to listen to.

  • Jim flunks civility too

    Who cares if you used the word “likelihood”? The fact remains that a rebate isn’t hurting the players who DON’T get a rebate, unless it’s because the rebate player is a better player to begin with. Unless you’re arguing that rebate shops should be driven out of business so the smart players leave, thus giving a slight bump to the less-skilled players, your premise doesn’t make any more sense now than it did before your alleged clarification.

  • PTP

    @raypualick said

    “PTP … I’m sorry, but what part of this sentence is unclear? ”

    Dont play dumb, because you aren’t.


  • EA

    Doesn’t HANA exist to help horse players? Doesn’t part of helping horse players include helping them get rebates on their handle? … Where’s the conflict of interest?

  • ron

    Who wouldn’t want to bet with some sort of rebate. At current takeout rates, there is no chance of winning long term . I can’t understand how rebates could be bad for the game. Theyre probably the only thing saving it.

  • JustRalph

    Platt and the HANA team are first rate guys and gals who toil for free. The fact that this smear campaign against Platt has been undertaken is proof positive that he and his team are making waves in all the right places. Who is Ray taking his marching orders from ?


  • ps…U WANT BET OWN THAT???…ty…

  • Biggest idiot in all the posters equals ???? ME!!! Here I am, 60 miles from Canterbury pouring in $120,000 a month between XBet and now TSpires and getting maybe 3-4% rebate!! Tell me I don’t feel like an idiot! I try to support Canterbury Park as much as I can, but I do work full time (funny, no one mentions that they work on this site???) and can’t do the drive more than once a week at most. On to Google and look up RGS!!! Yes, Mr. Platt, I will consider my registration as a referral by you, since I do believe that this blog by Ray, unfairly went after you. I believe BOTH you and Ray are friends of racing with different agendas and what’s wrong with that?

  • reb

    It never ceases to amaze me how everyone continues to miss the root problem of our game. We need more players!!! More players and handle goes up at all levels. Instead we continue to spend our limited resources and time squabbling on how to split up an ever shrinking pool of money bet on the horses. We need to put our energy into finding ways to make this game attractive to new players. With 80% of horseplayers over the age of 50, without new players our game will die a slow natural death over the next few years. Approx half of the states don not allow ADW wagering or OTB wagering. There is a huge untapped market there for us. The states are all starved for money, and yet no one is lobbying to bring horseracing into those states via either ADW’s or OTB sites.

    Let’s wake up and quit fighting among ourselves for that last little piece of existing pie, and instead get a whole new pie by bringing in new players and new markets.

  • Trappeddownontherail

    Amen, Reb. Amen.

    There was once a vision that America’s top class racing would, via the internet, become the shining city on the hill. But right now it is on a landslide with the slums of Rio.

    1. If tracks lowered take-out to a nice round number, pick a number, say 15 per cent, on all bets then it would attract punters. At least that’s what Economics 101 seems to tells us.

    2. Get drugs out of the game. It beats me why anyone in their right mind – alas, I am not or I would no longer be in this dysfunctional industry – would bet on lame ponies drugged to the eyeballs (and, yes, lasix and bute are drugs banned, for good reason, in every major racing nation except this one!). And that is what is happening at every race track every day. And not just in low level claimers either.

    3. Get rid of the cheats. There has to be a national compact on drugs and punishments for using them. Also for stupid behavior such as in the Life at Ten case, which covers stewards, vets, jockeys, trainers and yes, owners.

    4. There has to be a national strategy governing race times, stake schedules etc etc etc. Competition is great except when it isn’t – and in this industry we are eating our own.

    I would like to be an optimist and believe that at least a couple of these things could happen, but not for nothing are we the dis United States of America.

  • Indulto

    Now that the “shock and awe” has subsided, I want to address Mr. Cumming’s remarks in #34 and #35. He wrote, “And Indulto, Ray does not support anyone’s viewpoints except his own. As someone who has been published on this site numerous times, I’d expect you to have a higher standard of dialogue than that.”
    I’m sorry you were disappointed by my “standard of dialogue” which didn’t include any prejudicial name-calling like that contained in the blog piece. Indeed the Paulick Report has published two opinion pieces I submitted (with a disclaimer), and declined others–the last of which was a piece on why there had to be a boycott.

    I didn’t feel he was acting on other than his own convictions, or that my voice was being “stifled.” I still don’t. Should that blind me to the possibility he is currently representing the interests of others with similar convictions who might benefit from Mr. Platt’s inability to continue leading the boycott when the timing of this piece–and my own experiences with its target–suggest otherwise?

    No-one is denying the Paulick Report’s willingness to permit reasonable commentary on all sides of an issue, and I have frequently expressed my appreciation of that policy. But I’ll continue to make my own determination of who is or isn’t a “friend of racing.” In my opinion, this blog piece is far more damaging to its author than the email used in an effort to substantiate it.

  • Nick S

    WoW…a new low, Ray.

    I work in racetrack mgmt, but let me clearly state I speak for myself only.

    We (horse racing) sold the farm many years ago when the racing biz allowed rebate shops to raid the customer base…swilling the “more volume” Kool Aid as we did (and continue to do).
    Racing will NEVER display the unity to recover form this monumental error…so, moving on.

    You are addressing horseplayers with your editorial, agreed? Betting on the races is their business, how they earn. The cardinal rule of any trade is to try and achieve the optimum profit margin, (agreed?). I understand the players perspective in that if the tracks price the product above the means of profitability and I have a +10% option, I will pursue that +10%. I am saddened that it has devolved to this, but it is what it is. The issue and answers are obvious but those in a position to adjust the cost of the product remain, to a very large extent, oblivious.

    To portray Mr Platt as a “pimp” (really, Ray?) is an unfortunate position to read, even in your editorial.

  • Ray Paulick

    Nick S …. or Disappoin Ted or whatever your name is: Maybe you didn’t read the part of the article (it was in the very beginning) that said racetracks made a critical mistake underpricing their simulcast product, thereby allowing rebaters to get a toehold, then a foothold, and now have pretty much taken over a large segment of the business.

    Unless and until tracks and horsemen come up with a way to counter the lost revenue from handle leakage created by both rebaters and non-rebating ADWs, more tracks will fail and more horse owners will leave the business. The only surviving tracks will almost certainly be those subsidized by slot machines or casino revenues.

    The current business model is not working. In a perverse way, pushing more horseplayers to rebaters may do the industry some good because the leakage crisis will be so severe tracks and horsemen will have to take action and attempt to reclaim a more equitable portion of the wagering dollar.

  • Disappoin Ted/Nom de Plume

    I did read it and your observation is correct. That is fact.

    The disconnect is that in one post you accuse Jeff Platt of pimping…yet today you post a link to Ed DeRosa’s blog that contains this statement (paraphrasing):
    “What big bettor is going to boycott a system that actually favors him or her? The answer, of course, is none, which is why I never heard from any whales wanting to decry the increase,” proving my actual point.
    The current situation/debacle (rebating) has been more or less forced on the serious horseplayer. It is left to us (racing) to repair a broken system, not villify those who use it to their best advantage.
    Hate the game…not the playa.

  • Allan

    First of all, Jeff is doing this independent of HANA. He does not use HANA’s mailing list.

    Secondly, in the example you cited he mentioned he has “no financial interest (company ownership)”; stating he doesn’t own the company.

    Thirdly, he does indicate he gets compensation if someone uses one of these services.

    Seems to me he is being quite upfront.

    Lastly, if takeouts were low enough, no one would need to use a rebate shop. They can cut Mr. Platt out of financial revenue just by lowering the takeout.

  • John Swetye

    CHRB increased takeout. Horseplayers do not have a representative on the board.

    TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION caused a revolution in this country.

    No one should be surprised that horseplayers are in revolt against the takeout increase and are demanding a seat on the CHRB.

  • I-Do-Not-Like-Ham

    Remember when Wall street commissions were 12 to 15 times today’s prices.

    This is the best game/sport ever.

    The tracks need to compete. Maybe Calder/Gulfstream/Hialeah will have a price war next year.

    Racetrack execs could not survive in any other business.

    Pimps and Ho’s – HANA is a much needed organization.

    Paulick is way out of line – most of your readers are HORSEPLAYERS – stop being a fool!

  • Ray is a smug and arrogant hypocrite, who THINKS he knows it all.

  • Smells BS

    Jack Brown,

    Who isnt? From Platt and HANA, to ADWs, to Race Tracks, to Horsemen Groups, to Handicappers. YOU ALL THINK YOU KNOW EVERYTHING, at the end of the day, YOU are ONLY out for YOURSELF. GREED, IS America.


  • Nothing New

    Platt sending players to Nelson’s Amwest is nothing new. Do you really think the referral fee is not a percentage of the handle bet? Of course a rebate shop is going to pay a referral (percentage) back to Jeff, they are looking for any punters they can get.

  • Jack

    Ray, don’t let the negative comments get to you. It’s only a small group of a dozen or so loud-mouths from Pace Advantage. They’re those knuckleheads you see at the track who go ballistic with wild conspiracy theories when they couldn’t pick the winner in a walkover. They wouldn’t be happy if there was 0% takeout because they’d still be losing their shirts.

    We need to get rid of the outside ADWs – it’s that simple. They’re leeches. The NTRA should’ve put together an industry-wide ADW and that should be the only one that the tracks contract with. Send the ADW leeches packing.

  • Kews11

    This seems an uninformed analysis. Doing the math: There are players who went to the track 10 to 12 times a year, and probably spent 2500 bucks. Now they play every week and spend 25,000. Even at 18% v 5% the tracks take >3 times the $.

  • Larry

    As much as I have loved Horse Racing for 35 over years, I know find myself disgusted with it. Rebate shops have made “Par mutual” betting a lie. Huge late odd changes, due to computer betting is just another insult. Instead of lowering the take out and creating interest so some people can actually win, like in sports betting or poker. The people in charge think short term. Horse Racing is just a glorified casino game, and I’m not interested in losing anymore money. Would you play poker with a 15% rake?

  • Dan

    Hard to say if rebates are the problem, computer programs, and or tracks taking too large a take out from the pool are the problem. Lower take outs would be helpful in bringing and keeping more players at the track and make betting more appealing. I gamble with a few ADW’s and get great rebates on all tracks. If interested in discussing further email Dan at [email protected]

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