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Author Topic: another State's opinion about state bailing out horse racing  (Read 2520 times)
CLOCKERTERRY
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« on: August 10, 2006, 04:47:24 PM »

Much like our state of Illinois, my original home state of Montana has been having its horse racing woes, and even has a committee charged by the Governor to run around the state holding hearings to see what can be done to fix things up. (Sound familiar?)

When I was recently in Montana I ran into the writer for the Great Falls Tribune who writes about horse racing, and a writer for The Racing Journal, and asked them if any one of the mucky-mucks at the first meeting had come up with any ideas besides begging the State for direct "relief" or begging scraps from the state gaming industry's plate. Both of them, with pained and disgusted looks on their face, assured me those were the only ideas that had come up - the ones involving solid gold doubloons magically falling from the sky onto horse racing.

Today there's a real good editorial opinion from the Missoula paper that sums up what I've been trying to say all along, that horse racing needs to stand on its own two feet. I point out this opinion by the editors of a respected newspaper for the benefit of certain BTW posters who apparently believe I'm alone in holding such heretical positions. Bad news! Shapers of public opinion are saying it, too.

http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2006/08/10/opinion/opinion5.txt
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edwarren
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2006, 04:53:49 PM »

Given the fact Bush/Cheney is preparing Americans to face the fact we're going to be a third world country (we have a higher debt ratio than Uganda, in fact the highest in the world) I'm not sure anyone's going to be standing on two feet for very long.

The $700 billion tax cut will be contributing exactly $2 or so to the minimum wage. Wow.

Is that what you saps call supply-side economics? I mean, is that the best it can do?
« Last Edit: August 11, 2006, 01:29:26 PM by edwarren » Report to moderator   Logged
edwarren
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2006, 01:46:12 PM »

Article contains a false premise namely stae only interested in gambling revenue. Untrue. Horseracing provides employment and employment opportunity.

This slander happily written at the beheast of a "Frank Fink" from across the northern Montana border. Pay no attention.

By the way, much contraband smuggled through Montana from Canada on it's way to continental 48.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2006, 02:01:39 PM by edwarren » Report to moderator   Logged
CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2006, 09:31:25 AM »

Article contains a false premise namely stae only interested in gambling revenue. Untrue. Horseracing provides employment and employment opportunity.

It's true it does provide those things, but it isn't necessarily a State's job to provide those things. Unless you live in a communist society. Smiley The editors' opinion that revenue is the only State interest is as valid an opinion as any other position. When horse racing gambling was re-legalized in the U.S. back in the 1920's and 30's State revenue WAS the only interest. Race tracks were legalized then to do what casinos supposedly do today, rain solid gold doubloons down on State governments strapped for cash. Arlington Park was built on that wave of State revenue. The attitude that State revenue is the driving reason for the existence of a gambling industry is even enshrined in law, such as our own Illinois horse racing laws. The notion of employment and employment opportunity came along much later, promoted by a racing industry eager to justify handouts from the State to survive.   

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This slander happily written at the behest of a "Frank Fink" from across the northern Montana border. Pay no attention.

You come up with some bizarre ones, that's for sure, Ed. The notion that an editor of a Montana newspaper would write an opinion at the behest of Frank Stronach, who has no interests whatsoever in that State, is ridiculous, to say the least. 

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By the way, much contraband smuggled through Montana from Canada on it's way to continental 48.

Much contraband is smuggled through every state that shares a border with Canada or Mexico, as well as any state that touches the sea. Even states that only have international airports. But what the hell does that have to do with this subject?
« Last Edit: August 14, 2006, 10:22:29 AM by CLOCKERTERRY » Report to moderator   Logged
Jim C
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2006, 03:13:35 PM »

Terry, I know you and I will never agree on this subject but I would go along with your opinion that we should have no slots and no 3% from the casinos IF all other tracks in the US and Canada stopped it as well. Make EVERYONE live or die by the racing product and I am right there with you. But there is no way to survive and compete if the majority of states allow slots or a percentage from casinos to add money to purses and Illinois cannot. Sooner or later you are going to drive everyone to those states that do allow those " solid gold doubloons magically falling from the sky".
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edwarren
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2006, 09:10:34 PM »

It's true it does provide those things, but it isn't necessarily a State's job to provide those things. Unless you live in a communist society. Smiley The editors' opinion that revenue is the only State interest is as valid an opinion as any other position. When horse racing gambling was re-legalized in the U.S. back in the 1920's and 30's State revenue WAS the only interest. Race tracks were legalized then to do what casinos supposedly do today, rain solid gold doubloons down on State governments strapped for cash. Arlington Park was built on that wave of State revenue. The attitude that State revenue is the driving reason for the existence of a gambling industry is even enshrined in law, such as our own Illinois horse racing laws. The notion of employment and employment opportunity came along much later, promoted by a racing industry eager to justify handouts from the State to survive.   


DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE: The purpose of the Department of Agriculture, established by the Montana Constitution, Article XII, Section 1, is to promote the agricultural industry and enforce agricultural laws, which protect farmers and consumers. The principal functions of the department are: agricultural market development; wheat and barley research; maintenance of comprehensive agricultural statistics; operation of specialized rural development programs which provide assistance to qualified rural families; administer Growth Through Agriculture loan and grant programs; administration of state crop hail insurance; enforcement of grain laws; grain inspection and grading; regulation of commercial feeds and fertilizers; monitor medicated feeds; provision of horticultural inspection and quarantine services; pesticide regulation and enforcement; agricultural chemical and ground water protection; operation of technical and field oriented pesticide service programs; enforcement of apiary laws; and management of noxious weed control.

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE: The Department of Commerce facilitates the economic growth of Montana by providing meaningful assistance to businesses and entrepreneurs in the state; encourages companies located outside of Montana's borders to develop facilities and business within Montana; promote Montana as a travel destination to tourists throughout the world; assist in the marketing of Montana made products and services to domestic and international consumers; recommend courses of action and statutory changes which facilitate the growth and health of responsible business enterprises in the state; design and implement licensing and other systems which protect the public from unfair, unsafe, incompetent or deceptive services or products while minimizing the regulatory burden on those individuals who are qualified and ethical in their business practices and produce quality products and services; encourage and assist local communities in developing their public infrastructure to maintain and facilitate a vibrant and healthy environment for their citizens and visitors; encourage and assist local communities in preparing for and accomplishing economic development initiatives which provide economic opportunities for the citizens of that community; and provide a work environment for the employees of the Department of Commerce which is positive and provides intellectual and creative challenges allowing them to achieve and satisfy their personal employment goals.

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY: The purposes of the Department of Labor and Industry are to provide employment and training, to protect conditions for workers, and to protect employer/employee rights. Its functions include providing service to people actively seeking employment and to employers seeking workers; supervising and enforcing labor laws and worker health and safety standards; working to eliminate discriminatory practices; and administering state collective bargaining, workers' compensation regulation and unemployment insurance laws.

DEPARTMENT OF LIVESTOCK: The purpose of the Department of Livestock is to exercise general supervision over the livestock industry and to protect livestock from theft and disease. Its functions are enforcement of livestock laws, including the registration of marks and brands; regulation of livestock markets; rabies control; predator animal control; meat and poultry inspection; dairy, egg and milk inspection, and milk control and regulation. The Department of Livestock provides administrative support for the board of Milk Control and the Board of Horse Racing.


Your guess is as good as mine as to what Frank's interests are in the various states. I'll stay with my original statement. He would like to eliminate competition for the horseracing gambling dollar, he's on record saying so. Frank's a big "contributor", state-wide and nationally. The Missoulan is a Republican paper, isn't it? Birds of a feather...

Where I live, if you aren't a registered Republican, you can forget about getting a job even as dog-catcher.

Montana is or was anyway particularly notorious as a terminal point for drugs arriving into the US from Canada. In 1998 when Marc Racicot was the state's attorney general, mllions of dollars worth of narcotics were flown into Fort Peck, Havre, etc., from Canada. Two people were murdered in the Cowan area. Newspaper editors were strong-armed. Racicot was later "promoted" to engage in lobbying efforts for Enron and to, later still, became head of the RNC, fund-raising central and primary coordinator of Republican party finances. So there are connections.

Suit yourself. You, too, have come up with some of the craziest comments I've read on this board.


On a side note, I heard Michael Metz on NPR's business report interviewed by the toad Paul Kangas. MM is a commentator, from Oppenheimer, the investment bank. He's on record there as saying, for all intents and purposes, that investors shouldn't invest in the United States. That Americans and foreigners shouldn't invest in the U.S. Saying this, and after receiving a $700 billion tax cut ! Very ungrateful and highly unpatriotic sentiments. How do you feel about it?
« Last Edit: August 15, 2006, 05:13:19 AM by edwarren » Report to moderator   Logged
CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2006, 07:47:56 AM »


snip re: Montana State department missions


Those were nice, Ed, and thanks for your hard work. But nowhere in them did I see anything about diverting money from successful, efficient industries, or out of the public coffers and away from other State programs, to prop up withering, inefficient, and increasingly unpopular and ignored obsolete industries such as horse racing. My reading of what you provided was more in the line of the State seeking to attract new industry to the state, and to promoting its products outside its borders. That's what the horse racing industry is asking for there, a handout, free money, a cut of the gaming industry revenue, or garden variety welfare from State coffers . If they want to ask for 30 keno and poker machines like every bar, restaurant, and gas station in the state already has, in order to "compete", that's fine with me. That would truly be competition, to have what everyone else has.

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Your guess is as good as mine as to what Frank's interests are in the various states. I'll stay with my original statement. He would like to eliminate competition for the horseracing gambling dollar, he's on record saying so. Frank's a big "contributor", state-wide and nationally. The Missoulan is a Republican paper, isn't it? Birds of a feather...

I don't know the political leaning of the Missoulian (and quite frankly, in one of the most liberal towns in a Democratic state, I'd be inclined to guess Democrat, if I was guessing), but I do know arguments of this sort hold no water. You completely made up your claim that Frank Stronach was behind that article, and now you are trying to justify your creation using thin smoke and cheaply silvered mirrors.

Quote
Montana is or was anyway particularly notorious as a terminal point for drugs arriving into the US from Canada. In 1998 when Marc Racicot was the state's attorney general, mllions of dollars worth of narcotics were flown into Fort Peck, Havre, etc., from Canada. Two people were murdered in the Cowan area. Newspaper editors were strong-armed. Racicot was later "promoted" to engage in lobbying efforts for Enron and to, later still, became head of the RNC, fund-raising central and primary coordinator of Republican party finances. So there are connections.

You still haven't answered the question of what the hell this has to do with the subject of horse racing. Oh wait, I get it! It's part and parcel of the anti-Republican rant you started above with your accusations against Frank Stronach and the newspaper.
 
Quote
On a side note, I heard Michael Metz on NPR's business report interviewed by the toad Paul Kangas. MM is a commentator, from Oppenheimer, the investment bank. He's on record there as saying, for all intents and purposes, that investors shouldn't invest in the United States. That Americans and foreigners shouldn't invest in the U.S. Saying this, and after receiving a $700 billion tax cut ! Very ungrateful and highly unpatriotic sentiments. How do you feel about it?

How I feel is this: It has nothing to do with horse racing.
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2006, 08:00:25 AM »

Terry, I know you and I will never agree on this subject but I would go along with your opinion that we should have no slots and no 3% from the casinos IF all other tracks in the US and Canada stopped it as well. Make EVERYONE live or die by the racing product and I am right there with you. But there is no way to survive and compete if the majority of states allow slots or a percentage from casinos to add money to purses and Illinois cannot. Sooner or later you are going to drive everyone to those states that do allow those " solid gold doubloons magically falling from the sky".

The solid gold doubloons are supposed to create entirely new horses and new owners, not steal old ones from elsewhere! Get with the propaganda program, Jim!  Roll Eyes

There's more than one way to compete. It's what I've been saying. However, if the only way someone can see the Illinois racing industry is as it stands today, or stood in 1994, or stood at some other "good old days" date in the past, then yes, I can see how that someone could say, "They got 'em over there! See, look! We need 'em, too!" It's what's been going on for at least 10 years, if not more.

Perhaps Mr. D will force everyone's hand on a new way of competing with the sword he's currently holding over the entire Illinois industry's head in that NJC note. I fear, if it's Mr. D doing the deciding on the future of the Illinois industry, there will be many more unhappy people than if everyone had had input into their fate. But that will be what they all deserve, won't it?
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mel4600
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2006, 08:21:31 AM »

Since Arlington is a gaming enterprise the solution is simple, give all Illinois tracks the right to have slots and etc. This way no one can say the "state is bailing out horse racing". Mountaineer, Charlestown, Louisiana Downs, and Sunland Park, just to name a few, are doing quite well. As a matter of fact West Virginia is low taking a larger cut of the pie lowering the purses slightly. How dare that greedy state making these tracks prop it up! Its a fact, having other gaming venues on the premises dives the on track handle up. If you don't believe me just check out the difference in Louisiana Down's handle.
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2006, 08:50:08 AM »

Since Arlington is a gaming enterprise the solution is simple, give all Illinois tracks the right to have slots and etc. This way no one can say the "state is bailing out horse racing".

Hand out all sorts of new gaming licenses while they are at it. That way there will be some real competition, too, and the racetracks and horsemen can't get stale and complacent like they did in the past when they had a monopoly! There might even be a thrilling element of danger in the possibility of going bankrupt, like casinos in states like Nevada and New Jersey do when they are run shoddily in the face of real competition.

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Mountaineer, Charlestown, Louisiana Downs, and Sunland Park, just to name a few, are doing quite well.

At the expense of the states around them. That's why I say people need to get on board with their own propaganda and get busy creating those new horses and owners like they promised, and quit stealing everyone else's!

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As a matter of fact West Virginia is low taking a larger cut of the pie lowering the purses slightly. How dare that greedy state making these tracks prop it up!

That's right! Greedy state and greedy voters of the state, that owns the gambling licenses that were handed out to those racetracks in the first place. And when it needs more money in the future, it will do it again. And again.

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Its a fact, having other gaming venues on the premises dives the on track handle up. If you don't believe me just check out the difference in Louisiana Down's handle.

It can't have gone up too much on a daily basis, if at all. The typical purse reads something like, "Purse $19,500 (includes $2,500 LAVPF - LA Video Poker Fund includes $14,000 Other Sources)", meaning machine revenue makes up about $16,500 of that $19,500 purse. As well, the article we read here about Prairie Meadows, the one that had facts and figures, said the opposite.

Total handle is probably up, since the season now drags on three months longer than it used to.
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mel4600
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« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2006, 09:06:03 AM »

Clockerterri,

You sound like a very frustrated person. You must have had some bad experiences with horse racing. Instead of looking for solutions you are taking a negative approach to everything. For your information the license is not owned by the state or voters, it is merely issued to a qualified applicant. If the license is owned by the voters then they could all be in business if they want to. By the way, where is that Prairie Meadows article? I'd like to breakdown their facts and figures.

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big wally
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« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2006, 09:33:41 AM »

Mel, where are getting your LAD figures.. My research shows your conclusion is incorrect... Mountaineer I think the average daily handle per person is around $10.... The two best Casino tracks are Delaware and LAD and they put up on-track numbers less than Hawthorne
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mel4600
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« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2006, 09:56:01 AM »

Mel, where are getting your LAD figures.. My research shows your conclusion is incorrect... Mountaineer I think the average daily handle per person is around $10.... The two best Casino tracks are Delaware and LAD and they put up on-track numbers less than Hawthorne

Wally,

Where is your research that shows my conclusion to be incorrect? As a matter of fact, what conclusion are you disagreeing with? Tell me, what were the daily handles for Delaware and LAD pre and post gaming?
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2006, 11:29:09 AM »

You sound like a very frustrated person. You must have had some bad experiences with horse racing. Instead of looking for solutions you are taking a negative approach to everything.

That's presumptuous of you.

But yes, I have had some bad experiences. Experiences like being a customer of horse racing and walking into Mountaineer and Charles Town, and Prairie Meadows, and Delaware Park, and Ft. Erie, and Delta Downs and new Evangeline, and Sunland Park and Sunray Park, and craphole little racinos all over Canada. OTOH walking into Woodbine wasn't bad. And I've had bad experiences watching from afar as the horsemen and tracks in these locations do absolutely nothing with their temporary gift of free money to rebuild public confidence and interest in their sport. Aside from Woodbine's efforts, has anyone seen any stories at all about any of these tracks or states or horsemen taking daring new steps in problem areas like integrity or testing or jockey insurance or bettor rewards or takeout or ANYTHING AT ALL except feeding at the trough of free money? Has Delaware or Louisiana become an industry beacon for integrity? Why did Gary Birzer have inadequate insurance at Mountaineer while the parent company was rolling in the dough and creating a national gaming empire? Do you know any bettors who say, "Wow! That 9% takeout at Sunland Park really motivates me to wager more!" No, of course not. Silly of me to even ask.       

That's the negatives, Mel. The idea of slots or "relief" in general is not negative, but the way almost every other track and horsemen's group has gone about it so far, and how I know it will go here. Hog trough. And it's even worse here already! Other states do things like, "Here's 1500 slots for each facility. We don't care who you are. Go forth and make yourselves well." Does that happen in Illinois? Of course not. The status quo of infighting and backbiting has to be maintained, with - for no good explainable reason at all - Arlington getting more slots than anyone else, or Arlington getting a bigger chunk of the free money pie than anyone else, or the tracks getting to spend their money suppsoedly earmarked for "development" on things that aren't development at all like payroll, or the tracks getting just as much free money as the horsemen when it is SUPPOSEDLY purses that drive everything in the industry - or so some people say, when that argument is convenient.

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For your information the license is not owned by the state or voters, it is merely issued to a qualified applicant. If the license is owned by the voters then they could all be in business if they want to.

I would be willing to bet you'd find most State officials disagreeing with you. If it's the State's license to hand out, and the State's to take away, and the State's to limit, it's the State's property, with "the people" being (in theory) the State.

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By the way, where is that Prairie Meadows article? I'd like to breakdown their facts and figures.

http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060718/SPORTS/60718015/1003/NEWS12

I previously expressed my doubt about the 4,000-5,000 "racing" attendance numbers they bandy about in this story. That might be how many people in total come to Prairie Meadows on a weekend night during racing hours.
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mel4600
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« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2006, 12:17:39 PM »

Clockerterry,

You do make some valid points that I agree with and others that I don't.

You said "Why did Gary Birzer have inadequate insurance at Mountaineer while the parent company was rolling in the dough and creating a national gaming empire?"

My response to you is that subsidies were paid to the Jockey's Guild and they had a bunch of wayward thieves running it and let the policy lapse without informing the membership. Although I feel bad for every injured jockey, they need to purchase insurance for themselves since they are self employed.

You said "I would be willing to bet you'd find most State officials disagreeing with you. If it's the State's license to hand out, and the State's to take away, and the State's to limit, it's the State's property, with "the people" being (in theory) the State."

My response to you is: there is no state without the people, yet tell the people to give themselves a gaming license. I call that abuse of power.

Fact is the tracks with gaming are surviving quite well and Illinois racing is being left behind.
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big wally
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« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2006, 12:30:35 PM »

Wally,

Where is your research that shows my conclusion to be incorrect? As a matter of fact, what conclusion are you disagreeing with? Tell me, what were the daily handles for Delaware and LAD pre and post gaming?

My research is 2002 Daily figures from LAD average of $230K... This year just looking at past charts it would appear the daily average is much lower than 2002... Not the greatest sources but you have not supplied why you think otherwise.... Your conclusion, bring in slots and racing attendance and handle will increase.. Your right about tracks that would not exsist without slots but tracks like LAD if there is an increase its minimal at best... Time will tell GP and AQU are getting them we will  see what happens.. Dont have the figures pre-gaming for DEL or LAD... I think Delaware closed for a while...




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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2006, 12:37:37 PM »

My research is 2002 Daily figures from LAD average of $230K... This year just looking at past charts it would appear the daily average is much lower than 2002... Dont have the figures pre-gaming for DEL or LAD... I think Delaware closed for a while...

I don't believe LaD was racing for slots money in 2002. I visited the track in April, 2005, and the casino was brand new. 2005 was going to be the first full season running for slots dough.

They did have the video poker money in 2002. That was going to save Louisiana horse racing, before slots became necessary to do it.
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2006, 12:46:21 PM »

Fact is the tracks with gaming are surviving quite well and Illinois racing is being left behind.

The tracks with gaming are marking time and addicting the horsemen to unearned money, and their racing clientele to other forms of gambling. When the time comes, and it surely will, that the State takes back a big chunk of the money, or decides the track owners don't really have to lose quite so much on those pesky racing operations, the addicts will be up sh*t creek without a paddle, having whiled away their time with their noses in the trough instead of doing anything to make the actual product of horse racing more attractive to potential buyers, e.g., bettors.

My opinion, of course.
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2006, 01:08:05 PM »

Maybe Steve Crist says it better than me. Opinion by him from March stole my idea of using the slots loot to pay for some much needed fundamental improvements.   Grin

It should be noted, he was roundly ignored.

http://www.drf.com/drfNewsArticle.do?NID=72582&subs=0&arc=1 
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Jim C
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« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2006, 01:51:26 PM »

Terry,
You are absolutely correct in that any additional money from slots or 3% MUST be used not just for purses or the tracks bottomline but to PROMOTE the PRODUCT and expand the customer base. This very point was stated in an article I wrote in Illinois Racing News a few months back.

Money received by the tracks especially under the 3% solution MUST be reinvested directly to many of the points you bring up. As I stated in the article, the tracks are getting their share of the 3% money FOR NO INVESTMENT OR ADDITIONAL COSTS. Unless there is some plan but forth by the Tracks which should include input from the INDUSTRY as to how this additional money will be used I see no reason for the tracks to get any of the 3%. They still will be getting recapture money (since the ITHA failed to come to a deal with the tracks like the IHHA did) and they will not have to pay one Penny in extra costs as they would with slots unless the money is used for changes to help the game and not their bottom line all the money should go to purses and breeding and promoting horse ownership.

I think the issue we have with each others opinion is that you see racing as a dying business that must sink or swim on its own, and I see it as a business that is evolving and needs to be treated equally vs. the casinos.

Your comment that racing needs to create more owners and not take them from other states is an interesting one. I agree with you that we need to create more owners but everything in business today is based on taking customers from others. Look at the retail business world. There used to be hundreds of retail outlets Korvettes, Grants, Venture, Goldblatts, Zayres, JM Fields, Wards just to name a few that are now gone. Today there are only a few. If you have a product to sell the only way you can sell it is to take business or shelf space from someone else as the retail market outlets have consolidated. Like racing, the retail market is not dying...its evolving. Right now in racing the fastest way to get more horses and owners is to take them from other tracks. To do that you need the right purse structure and the right condition books being written. If that can be done it will be easier to recruit new owners as financially it will be more appealing.
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big wally
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« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2006, 01:55:28 PM »

I don't believe LaD was racing for slots money in 2002. I visited the track in April, 2005, and the casino was brand new. 2005 was going to be the first full season running for slots dough.

They did have the video poker money in 2002. That was going to save Louisiana horse racing, before slots became necessary to do it.

The point I am making is that slots are not helping LAD horse race attendance and on-track handle. I dont know when the slots actually came in but it is clear there has not been much improvement in on-track figures down there. Mel said it did.
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2006, 02:26:03 PM »

Money received by the tracks especially under the 3% solution MUST be reinvested directly to many of the points you bring up. As I stated in the article, the tracks are getting their share of the 3% money FOR NO INVESTMENT OR ADDITIONAL COSTS.

Well of course, there would be the cost of new Scrooge McDuck money storage vaults for the track owners to store the solid gold doubloons, to occasionally visit to thrash about in the loot while throwing handfuls in the air.

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Unless there is some plan but forth by the Tracks which should include input from the INDUSTRY as to how this additional money will be used I see no reason for the tracks to get any of the 3%.

Agreed. But if they are going to give some to the tracks, which is politically necessary, or Dick D. will get it shot down in the legislature, I would write in the law a clause to prevent them from merely replacing existing capital or operational expense with the free State loot. They would have to document to the IRB some "baseline" years of expenses, and would only be reimbursed out of the fund for additional expenditures above and beyond what they did before. After all, they are going to make more money anyhow, guar-on-teed, once the bigger purses start magically generating more horses and the field size gets bigger and handle increases and owners buy better stock and ... uh ... well, we all know the schtick by heart now.

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I think the issue we have with each others opinion is that you see racing as a dying business that must sink or swim on its own, and I see it as a business that is evolving and needs to be treated equally vs. the casinos.

Okay, I'll accept that.

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Your comment that racing needs to create more owners and not take them from other states is an interesting one. I agree with you that we need to create more owners but everything in business today is based on taking customers from others.

Unless all the free slots loot everywhere creates NEW horses and NEW owners, it isn't worth a hill of beans to the industry overall. Racing should be taking owners from the ranks of boat owners or motorcycle owners or something like that, not merely sloshing the existing horse and owner flesh around to the latest and greatest free hog trough of money. If it isn't creating new horses and new owners then the promise of slots for racing is a lie, with tracks in one state gutted to feed another, while your customer base sitting out there in simulcast land walks out in disgust after seeing nothing but boring, unbettable 5 and 6 horse races on 20 different TV screens.
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2006, 02:27:39 PM »

The point I am making is that slots are not helping LAD horse race attendance and on-track handle. I dont know when the slots actually came in but it is clear there has not been much improvement in on-track figures down there. Mel said it did.

Right. I was helping you out. You said you used 2002 numbers, but then said you didn't know what the numbers were pre-slots. I was pointing out that the numbers you used WERE pre-slots.
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big wally
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« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2006, 02:43:28 PM »

Right. I was helping you out. You said you used 2002 numbers, but then said you didn't know what the numbers were pre-slots. I was pointing out that the numbers you used WERE pre-slots.

Thank You
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BeauNarro
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« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2006, 04:06:17 PM »

ClockerTerry,

That's exactly the point I made on here several months ago when we all started talking about the 3% "relief" money from the river boats, and the huge amount that was being delegated to the tracks owners.
Until about 7 years ago the "splits" money was held in excrow by the state. Each track had to "prove" that they had used their own money for capitol improvements in order to get that "splits" money that was in their held account. Further, they had to submit a three year plan to the racing board before the dates hearing every year on their projected capitol improvements projects which the racing board reviewed and approved or dis-approved.
Each track had to also prove that they had at least 3 qualified bids for all projects along with anti-collusion statements signed by all bidders before any work was started, and then after completion they had to supply completed waivers of lien from all contractors involved in the projects stating that all monies were paid to them 100% before the tracks could submit for re-payment from the "splits" account.
That was one of my primary responsibilities at Hawthorne.
If the racing board insists on a similar structure for payment if the 3% ever kicks in, I would feel a bit easier about it. However, I don't know why the tracks would need so much of the cut of the pie as it is now. Higher purses, better conditions, and more marketing/advertising should drive the product up which would mean more money for the track owners in the cut they take.
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mel4600
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« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2006, 04:39:14 PM »

The point I am making is that slots are not helping LAD horse race attendance and on-track handle. I dint know when the slots actually came in but it is clear there has not been much improvement in on-track figures down there. Mel said it did.

Wally,

Look at the year before the slots arrived. The people I know at LAD tell me there is a larger handle now with the slots than the year before. I'll  make a wager with you that the handle was larger the year they had slots than the year before they had them. Deal? You can't pull out any year in the past and compare it. You can look at a 5 year trend or the year before and after.
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mel4600
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« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2006, 05:13:54 PM »

Right. I was helping you out. You said you used 2002 numbers, but then said you didn't know what the numbers were pre-slots. I was pointing out that the numbers you used WERE pre-slots.

Yes and if you go back farther to the 70's and 80's you will find that they set all their handle and attendance records. Since then it has been a steady slide and the gaming bailed them out.
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big wally
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« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2006, 07:48:09 PM »

Wally,

Look at the year before the slots arrived. The people I know at LAD tell me there is a larger handle now with the slots than the year before. I'll make a wager with you that the handle was larger the year they had slots than the year before they had them. Deal? You can't pull out any year in the past and compare it. You can look at a 5 year trend or the year before and after.

Mel, slots came in 2004 here is article saying daily handle dropped 19%.

http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/todaysnews/newsview.asp?recno=50403&subsec=1
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mel4600
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« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2006, 03:47:12 PM »

Mel, slots came in 2004 here is article saying daily handle dropped 19%.

http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/todaysnews/newsview.asp?recno=50403&subsec=1

I believe they came in full operation in 2005, not sure, I will check it and get some current handle figures.
Also you figures are for on and off track handle.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2006, 04:21:38 PM by mel4600 » Report to moderator   Logged
edwarren
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« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2006, 04:00:25 PM »

ClockerTerry,

That's exactly the point I made on here several months ago when we all started talking about the 3% "relief" money from the river boats, and the huge amount that was being delegated to the tracks owners.
Until about 7 years ago the "splits" money was held in excrow by the state. Each track had to "prove" that they had used their own money for capitol improvements in order to get that "splits" money that was in their held account. Further, they had to submit a three year plan to the racing board before the dates hearing every year on their projected capitol improvements projects which the racing board reviewed and approved or dis-approved.
Each track had to also prove that they had at least 3 qualified bids for all projects along with anti-collusion statements signed by all bidders before any work was started, and then after completion they had to supply completed waivers of lien from all contractors involved in the projects stating that all monies were paid to them 100% before the tracks could submit for re-payment from the "splits" account.
That was one of my primary responsibilities at Hawthorne.
If the racing board insists on a similar structure for payment if the 3% ever kicks in, I would feel a bit easier about it. However, I don't know why the tracks would need so much of the cut of the pie as it is now. Higher purses, better conditions, and more marketing/advertising should drive the product up which would mean more money for the track owners in the cut they take.

So, is the big question, "who will be cut and who will lose their job?" I don't think the tracks are interested now much in marketing, by the way. I don't know much what to think except that big cuts are coming. Y'all been stone-walled until that day, my opinion.

It's like prohibition and then, after, all the small operators fell out, shaken-out, and the big liquor-pie was left on the table for the biggest to cut into, all legal-like. I think there exists a plan, a state-by state plan, sitting somewhere in somebody's desk-drawer. But it might still be iffy because the economy might still suck, I mean, big-time. Anyway, that's when it will happen.
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