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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Slots Players Worth Fighting For?

- Semi-anonymous poster KH writes:

I thought the modus operandi for casinos, was no clocks, no windows, lots of sweetening pumped through the vents,etc..... It does not seem illogical to assume that you really aren't going to convert any slots players to racing, so why not just try and optimize the wallet sucking and don't bother with the pretence of "conversion". It seems to me that table gamers and poker players would be a better target for conversion anyway as they are a bit more "sophisticated" as a whole.
That's a very fair point. Watching some of the zombies slots players mesmerized by the VLT's, the last thing I'd picture them doing is analyzing Todd Pletcher's record with three-year olds switching from dirt to turf off 91-180 day layoffs. So perhaps the right thing to do is to just squeeze as much money out of them as possible without any distractions.

On the other hand, I've observed a fairly young crowd hanging out at the Saratoga Harness racino, especially in the party tent, and I have seen people in the racino take a break to catch a race. So it seems to me that it's a pretty grim approach to just write them off entirely.

But more importantly, if you presume, as I do, that the day will come when there are table games and possibly sports betting at racetracks, I think you want to at least have the infrastructure in place to try and lure them over. I suppose you can always stick in some betting windows and TV's; but it obviously would be better if the buildings are constructed with a view of the track and spaces dedicated for watching and betting.

I read these quotes today in the Miami Herald from Gulfstream president Paul Micucci:
A lot of guys have gotten into the `racino' business and have become casino guys because they forget about what used to be their primary business....And I've seen casino guys buy race tracks, and big companies buy race tracks. They say they're doing it because they want to get in the horse racing business. They want to stay in the casino business. They just want to do it with race tracks. We're not like that at all.

"On the casino side we have a beautiful venue, but it's not our primary business....It's our secondary business. We're very good at it, but we really want to make sure we keep the racing first and out front."
I'm very interested to see whether his attitude is reflected by the presence of horse racing in those casino rooms.

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1 Comment:

Tote Board Brad said...

Great to see Katie Holmes taking a keen interest in racing and delivering the inside scoop.