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Author Topic: Why should Harness Racing be supported  (Read 2346 times)
wilderness
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« Reply #50 on: December 08, 2010, 06:50:36 PM »

Once again from USTA Trotting and Pacing Guides.

Annual number of race dates (U. S., harness ONLY) (All may not be pari-mutuel):
2004-3,939
1988-n/a

Actual Races:
2004-81,392
1988-129,298
earlier-n/a
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Dolfan
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« Reply #51 on: December 08, 2010, 06:59:29 PM »

Once again from USTA Trotting and Pacing Guides.

Annual number of race dates (U. S., harness ONLY) (All may not be pari-mutuel):
2004-3,939
1988-n/a

Actual Races:
2004-81,392
1988-129,298
earlier-n/a

Whoa!  81,000 races means more than 6,000 a month.  At least 80% are pari-mutuel, agree?  That means 4800 races a month at $170 million wagered making the average handle per race to be approx. $35,400.  Again, using Mel's 8%, that's $2832 for an average purse.  Ouch!

You guys want to keep going here, it looks like it keeps getting worse.  Mel?
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wilderness
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« Reply #52 on: December 08, 2010, 07:13:37 PM »

fan,
       I've had enough Sad

 John Pawlak at the USTA should be able to provide the fair dates and parimutuel dates separately (John's most cooperative with these types of information requests).

 He may also be able to provide the missing data (n/a) from earlier years and even though it wasn't published.
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« Reply #53 on: December 08, 2010, 11:46:13 PM »

Whether or not the total handle is the same today as it was in the 80's is a totally invalid point..
The cost of doing business today is probably twice what it was then.
Property taxes, wages, purse money etc.
And if you consider the lousy dollar we are spending today (compared to other world currencies) and the severe devaluation of that dollar, how could racing generate the type of profits that are required by the men in the companies we are talking about?
Is $3 Million handled today worth the same as it was in 1990?
And no, the Meadowlands today neither has the people nor the handle it did even 5 years ago..
I live here and I see it every day..
The Rooney family held onto Yonkers UNTIL they got the slots that they knew were coming.
Otherwise, that shithole would have closed 10 years ago..
The guy at Nfld is going to get the machines soon, but I would guess that is pound for pound the most profitable of all the tracks..
They have a decent handle nightly and give away no purse money...
The sport is dying a not so slow death, and the people who are rooting for the Meadowlands to close should rethink their position, because the sport is mirroring the Meadowlands demise...
All of the "racinos" would simply be casinos IF the horses needed to be self sufficient..
And that time will come when the States realize that they can rewrite the laws and eliminate the nuisance of racing..
A handle at Pocono of $150 K per night hardly sounds like a wildly successful business..
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wilderness
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« Reply #54 on: December 09, 2010, 01:02:07 AM »

Otherwise, that shithole would have closed 10 years ago..
The guy at Nfld is going to get the machines soon, but I would guess that is pound for pound the most profitable of all the tracks..
They have a decent handle nightly and give away no purse money...

Vic,
     For the most part you present valid thoughts.

 Some insight into the Northfield Park issue. . . For some years and in order to generate handle on weekday nights, Northfield has been selling their simulcast signal at a lower fee than most other tracks. The reduction generates a better profit margin for both Northfield and the exported track.

 There's a very old (perhaps it's even gone now; the USTA does from time to time remove entire periods or objects) press release on the USTA website which presented the reduced fees that Northfield and some other tracks were offering for their signal.
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wilderness
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« Reply #55 on: December 09, 2010, 01:04:14 AM »

A handle at Pocono of $150 K per night hardly sounds like a wildly successful business..

 The Handle at Chester can't be much better, if at all?
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« Reply #56 on: December 09, 2010, 03:05:15 AM »

I'd like to know who depends on gov't, other than financial institutions.  Who gets subsidies each year to keep them in existence.  Not just a helping hand once in 20 years, like the auto industry (who's help I opposed too).

Airlines have needed help, especially since 9/11 but they are an integral part of the American business world.  So who else?

Keep in mind that our industry is NOT getting help in the form of subsidies, just the state owned Big M.  Why do they deserve these subsidies while Nfld, May/Bmp, Hpk... are "left" to be self-sufficient?

You're kidding, right? Who gets subsidies each year to remain in existence?

Ethanol producers and corn farmers.

You missed that?

You haven't witnessed the debate of recent years over capping subsidies to farmers based on income? You haven't read about the generous ethanol subsidies of the like John McCain wouldn't support, which led him to not compete in Iowa?

Opinions vary on the ethanol subsidy, but at least those m----------rs are employing people based on WORK DONE and product produced, as opposed to the banks that got bailed out for being greedy-ass *** who insanely disregarded their own long-term interests (and enticed people into destructive loans).

Unfortunately, the bank bailouts were also needed.



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VicD
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« Reply #57 on: December 09, 2010, 09:43:49 AM »

The Handle at Chester can't be much better, if at all?
I have not seen the numbers published...
But I have tilted win pools there with $150 win bets...
The future of the sport won't depend on $3000 win pools, but rather retirees dumping Social Security checks into the machines..It's that simple right now...
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Mel from Moline
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« Reply #58 on: December 09, 2010, 12:55:25 PM »

Whoa!  81,000 races means more than 6,000 a month.  At least 80% are pari-mutuel, agree?  That means 4800 races a month at $170 million wagered making the average handle per race to be approx. $35,400.  Again, using Mel's 8%, that's $2832 for an average purse.  Ouch!

You guys want to keep going here, it looks like it keeps getting worse.  Mel?


Average purses across the board is no indicator of what things are. Hell, If you want to compare average purses at Raceway park and the big M it's an apples and oranges kind of thing. I don't know why you defend managements angle, but thats your right. I know for a fact, given a fair split, the business will stand on its own. There will be track closings as well. But at least we'd be trending upward.
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« Reply #59 on: December 09, 2010, 01:09:58 PM »

Average purses across the board is no indicator of what things are. Hell, If you want to compare average purses at Raceway park and the big M it's an apples and oranges kind of thing. I don't know why you defend managements angle, but thats your right. I know for a fact, given a fair split, the business will stand on its own. There will be track closings as well. But at least we'd be trending upward.

I don't know what "facts" you're stating.  Given a "fair split" will only dig a deeper hole for track owners.  Unfortunately, I also cannot imagine how horsemen outside of racinos can possibly survive.

And if you believe there will be more track closings, why'd you agree with Supernaut's incorrect statement that "there are no tracks for sale"?

I defend mgt's angle because I own my own business.  As a (former) harness owner, I cannot understand how the industry can make $ in it's present structure.  What is inevitable is the existence of just a fraction of the tracks we have now, that are self-sustained by handle.

VicD is correct when he states that YR would have closed without slots.  In fact, they were possibly just months or even weeks from closing when the deal was struck - that is fact, as I remember Bob Galterio's moronic statements regarding the closing & also how bringing in new owners "would create new fans".  Total idiot.

Jeepers, I'm sorry that I did not include farmers in my thoughts on subsidies.  I know they exist but again, one of the very few places where subsidies are given.  The previous argument was with someone who made subsidies sound like everyone gets them, which is just insane.
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« Reply #60 on: December 09, 2010, 01:27:35 PM »

Dolfan,

While everyone may not be getting subsidies directly paid to them most people benefit from the subsidies paid to others.

Better than 90% of the food we eat or drink has frutose corn syrup in it.
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Dolfan
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« Reply #61 on: December 09, 2010, 01:49:40 PM »

'Tross, I admit to knowing nothing about farming & I'm sure ADM gets their fair share but if, as you say, that 90% of us benefit (via pricing), what's the % who benefit from harness racing - .0001%?

You certainly make a good argument for the elimination of subsidies to anything harness.

As a fiscal conservative, I don't know how you can support those subsidies - not that you necessarily do support them.

If you ask what the best thing is for NJ, I would assume that you would agree that the state could sell M1 if there's a buyer, turn M1 into a state-run casino without racing (since that's a loser) or just expand the parking lot at Giants Stadium.

I highly doubt anyone would buy M1 for just harness racing purposes.
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« Reply #62 on: December 09, 2010, 02:29:00 PM »




Everything is for sale.  You just wouldn't want to pay the asking price.



Mel, in order to get to the $ amount that's being handled, other states & simulcasting are necessary, bringing more hands on each piece of the pie.  I just don't think you really see all of the costs that are involved.  Honestly, have you ever owned a business?


If a business is failing, WHY would the price be too high? Shouldn't the owners want out of a LOSING business? Isn't that what capitalism is? What the going market will bear? If a business is losing money continually, why wouldn't the owners want out? I'll tell you why-They are NOT losing money. Do you truly think that the professional sports teams are losing money? Any good accountant can tell you how to make it LOOK like you aren't making money. But the bottom line is- if a business is NOT for sale- they ARE making money-somehow. Unless one needs a tax write-off, businesses will go out of business if they lose too much money. I'm not talking about a cash flow problem, most businesses have them from time to time.And I DO own my own business and I DO know all about costs and such. That's what has to be figured into the profit and loss numbers. Have you ever owned your own business? Then you should know how much your business is worth. Would YOU sell a LOSING business?
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« Reply #63 on: December 09, 2010, 02:45:12 PM »

to all that have written here I am sure I am like most agree on some of the points and disagree on others.

One thing that I have not heard here is whether or not this sport/business should be given subsides, which in my mind is money coming from casinos and the government.  I do not think they should, most states spend a lot of money on trying to regulate the sport, officials, testing, licensing, etc, they should not have to put any more tax payers money into, which they are by giving casino money back to the horseman. if the casino's were to keep that then I feel it would go to better use, some back in the form of taxes, some towards expansion of these sites which would generate more part time and full time jobs, that are real jobs, that generate more tax payments. 

Instead of money going to grooms, feed dealers, farmers for hay, vets and others under the table and not paying taxes, and of course trainers who always try to outsmart the government and use things not good for horses that are not tested for yet.
I am not against the sport I just want to see it improve from top to bottom and stand on its own. I will state also that I am not for all the casinos going up and it is the fault of our government wanting more money for the state and this is easy money and allows them to pass off making harder decisions that most people will not like, but ultimately will need to be made, and if this sport cannot stand on its own shortly then it will be one of those hard decisions.
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« Reply #64 on: December 09, 2010, 02:55:53 PM »

There is no doubt that the horsemen have to get a better shake from ADW or the industry is doomed. Of course on track attendance and handle will be down when you can bet from the comfort of your own home.  It also allows you to cherry pick races to bet . You might bet a total of 10 races a night 2 each at 5 different tracks.
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« Reply #65 on: December 09, 2010, 03:53:09 PM »

After watching Pat Berry drive at Freehold today I'm going to change my stance to ZERO support for the sport.  Ok, kidding on that, but the biggest problem with the sport is a guy like Pat Berry earns a livable income.  The physical talents and intellect he brings to the track would be objectively valued at approximately $35,000 a year (super top end estimate there).  Any earned income above that should be considered waste and purses, earning percentages, etc, should be adjusted accordingly.  I don't want to hear crap about how nice he is, cuz my nephew is nice and he's not worth much more than that.
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Dolfan
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« Reply #66 on: December 09, 2010, 04:44:12 PM »

Supernaut, why are you having such a hard time understanding that many tracks have closed down over the last 25 years.  The ones that are left are either racinos or offer $2000 purses & are profitable.  That simple.  The ones that closed down were certainly for sale & others will be too.  And yes, EVERYTHING is for sale, at the "right" price.  But don't tell me that the Big M can possibly be profitable without that AC money.

Cheatsandthieves, asked & answered.  No subsidies, IMO.

Folks, this is a rude awakening.  Many things - subsidies & benefits are going to have to be cut in this country.  Everybody agrees with that but no one wants THEIR benefit cut.  That's understandable but unrealistic.  Christie MUST get NJ turned around.  Giving more money of any kind to a dying business will not happen.
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wilderness
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« Reply #67 on: December 09, 2010, 05:05:31 PM »

One thing that I have not heard here is whether or not this sport/business should be given subsides, which in my mind is money coming from casinos and the government.  I do not think they should, most states spend a lot of money on trying to regulate the sport, officials, testing, licensing, etc, they should not have to put any more tax payers money into, which they are by giving casino money back to the horseman. if the casino's were to keep that then I feel it would go to better use, some back in the form of taxes, some towards expansion of these sites which would generate more part time and full time jobs, that are real jobs, that generate more tax payments.

  If "subsidy" was used as it is properly defined (a short term solution) and with a major portion going into escrow to market and promote the industry?
 Than IMO, there's nothing wrong with "subsidy".

 Unfortunately, not a solitary state/province has made-into-law a major portion of the revenue and into escrow/marketing.
 Some locales (state or otherwise), such as NY, even have percentage restrictions written into the law that restrict the percentage that is spent on both Racino and racing advertising differently.

There is no doubt that the horsemen have to get a better shake from ADW or the industry is doomed.

 bowser,
            It depends entirely upon what your referring to when your refer to "both horsemen and ADW"?
 If your suggesting that horsemen in an already subsidized market (slots or otherwise) should be a better cut of ADW?

 Than I'm against that.

 If your suggesting that horsemen in non-subsidized markets that are failing should get a larger cut of the pie?
 
 Than I agree.
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« Reply #68 on: December 09, 2010, 05:28:51 PM »

New Jersey got a big fat "D" when it came to transparency in reporting Economic Development disclosure of taxpayer supported subsidies.  Several of NJ biggest subsidies have no online disclosure.  Christie hides hundreds of millions of dollars spent on these tax breaks.  The Development Subsidy Job Goals Accountability Act was passed in 2007, calls for New Jersey to measure the costs and benefits of all of its business subsidies, documenting the number of jobs created, the average pay and benefits for each job and the number of workers with health insurance. But the report has never been done.

NJ state is being crushed under the weight of the big fat slob.
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« Reply #69 on: December 09, 2010, 05:48:52 PM »

The most successful sports franchise in the world gets cash subsidises from government. How much did the New York Yankees get from NYC?
 Even the Buffalo Bills got a cool million from the state to help with marketing.
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« Reply #70 on: December 09, 2010, 07:14:10 PM »

Homeboy, big difference between NY & NJ now.  You have a fiscal conservative with a mess left there by the left.  He has to get his house in order.  From what I've seen of him, he is very impressive.  He's been there for less than a year.  He needs to make big changes that will dig NJ out of a hole but it looks like M1 is going to be taking it on the chin.

If the Bills get $ from NY it is likely because NY is just trying to keep them there for as long as possible which will be until the Bills start winning.  Then, they're out of there - the armpit of the nation doesn't deserve an NFL team.  I guess they'll end up in Toronto.

I know you disagree with my views & that's fine.  The previous poster (Warren) is an extreme lefty with anti-semitic views.  The fact that he hates Christie makes me like CC even more.
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« Reply #71 on: December 09, 2010, 07:30:14 PM »

We agree on more than we disagree. Oops! I guess we can't even agree on that.
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Mel from Moline
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« Reply #72 on: December 09, 2010, 08:55:43 PM »

Fan....I do find it funny that you have continually challenged what Supernaut and I are tying to present as fact through our 1st hand experiennce with what happened in IL, yet, you do not accept what is the main point against you....the money is there. It is. Management gets it. Your example of a simple average purse is illogical because every different track has a different purse structure. I also enjoy your undying devotion to Christie, safely from your hom in S. FL.....there's some pretty hard core conservatives here VERY unhappy with his obviously bought and paid for AC tilt. But, it all remains to be seen. Since you seem to have all the answers and think things are "correcting" themselves...perhaps you can show where all this money goes.....( I know you cant, because the government cant, AND DONT)
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« Reply #73 on: December 10, 2010, 01:38:50 PM »

Fan....I do find it funny that you have continually challenged what Supernaut and I are tying to present as fact through our 1st hand experiennce with what happened in IL, yet, you do not accept what is the main point against you....the money is there. It is. Management gets it. Your example of a simple average purse is illogical because every different track has a different purse structure. I also enjoy your undying devotion to Christie, safely from your hom in S. FL.....there's some pretty hard core conservatives here VERY unhappy with his obviously bought and paid for AC tilt. But, it all remains to be seen. Since you seem to have all the answers and think things are "correcting" themselves...perhaps you can show where all this money goes.....( I know you cant, because the government cant, AND DONT)

Mel, I agree that I have shown bias towards Christie, but mainly because I know how out of control gov't spending has been for quite a while & recognize that real change (not like Obama) needs to take place or our country is in serious financial trouble.  Truth is, I only see Christie when he makes national news but he is impressive.  I will never understand why taxpayers should continue to expend $ for dying businesses.  That track should NOT be owned by the state, no way, no how.  That whole sporting area was only built to piss off Leon Hess in the mid 70's.

Of course "avg" purse is illogical but it does show how bad our sport really is.  Taken on a track by track basis, you still have to admit that what I state is correct - either racinos or $2000 purses so I do not accept that "the money is there".  In fact, I feel comfortable stating that by looking at those averages, clearly the money is NOT there.

Without expanded gaming & a real deal, PPK will eventually cease to exist for harness racing.  Our state will not subsidize PPK & neither should NJ subsidize M1.
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Mel from Moline
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« Reply #74 on: December 10, 2010, 01:46:34 PM »

"correct" as you say is a many splendored thing.....one of your usual examples, Northfield, has typically a little more than a million bet each day, total. Now, using my 8%, I doubt any of their cards equal up to 80K a day in purses. That money goes somewhere, not into the purse account, which makes me and Supernaut "correct".....which is the EXACT thing that happens in Chicago.
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