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Saturday, August 02, 2008

How Not To Win Friends

- As noted in this comments thread, Del Mar has now implemented the anticipated purse cut, reportedly the first there in 30 years. At an average of around $10,000 a day, track president Joe Harper calls it "a tweak more than a drop," [SignOnSanDiego] but I'm sure that sounds cynical to horsemen who are not seeing their expense bills similarly "tweaked."

The blame for the cut is not being placed on the economy, nor on the synthetic surface; but rather on TVG, who refused to continue the "experiment" under which all California signals were open to all the ADW's. “Had we got something , this would not be happening,” said CFO Michael Ernst. [DRF]

Interestingly, Jeff Nahill reports in the North County Times that TVG's exclusive ADW deal with Del Mar expires after this meeting. "Next year, it's a whole new ballgame," [TOC president Drew] Cuoto said. Gee, you'd think that TVG wouldn't want to piss off one of the very few attractive exclusive properties it still has left. Maybe David Nathanson should pick up a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People.

- Also a drop off in business at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut, and only part of it is being attributed to the economy and gas prices. Seems as if the players there have simply had an extraordinary run of good luck, with the net revenues from table games down a startling 25%, even though the amount wagered on them actually went up by 6.4%! Hey, any of you guys riding a hot streak there?

"It could happen for a couple of reasons," said David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. "People could just get lucky or there could be some kind of cheating going on." [Hartford Courant]
The casino discounted the possibility of cheating, and instead begrudged their customers' good fortune. Unlike your friendly neighborhood racetrack which gets its share no matter what and would be happy if everyone won, the casinos want you to lose. Mohegan Sun's CEO Mitchell Etess said:
”We just didn't win as much,” Etess said. “We were just extremely unlucky.

”We wish we wouldn't had been so unlucky. I would have liked to have won. You don't have these fluctuations with slot machines. This is really just an extraordinary, unlucky period.” [The Day]
He sounds like your typical horseplayer whining after a string of close losses!

[Hat tip, as always, to the Albany Law School's Racing and Gaming Today.]


Brett said...

Well whatever Del Mar and the CHRC does to it's purses means nothing to Zenyatta because she is an absolute FREAK! WOW what a filly. I love this horse. I hope she stays undefeated for the BC versus Ginger Punch, Hystericlady, Music Note, Proud Spell, and anyone else that wants to face her.

Everyone take off Saturday and go to "Ladies Day" on Friday this year for the BC.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a big TVG fan, but it seems to me that Del Mar is not blameless here. They signed the exclusive deal with TVG, reaped the benefits of TVG's investment in promotion of Del Mar racing, and now want TVG to give away the benefits of exclusivity. What did they offer TVG in exchange?

It will be interesting to see how the TVG situation plays out. I know they're on the auction block, but I wonder who would be interested in bidding and how they plan to profit from their investment. TVG has done a good job of getting racing on TV, but how do they get paid for that when viewers can bet anywhere, and other ADW operations have more to offer the bettor?