I didn't realize that it was an issue, but the NYS Racing and Wagering Board approved the continuation of online video streaming of thoroughbred and harness races in New York through 2012. Authorization for streaming would have expired on December 22. Of course, it took the closure of NYCOTB to finally bring it about. The law had stated that NYRA could stream only if all the OTB's could as well, and it took a look into the abyss to finally bring it about. Soon afterwards, NYRA obtained agreement with out-of-state tracks to stream their races, and in-state harness tracks followed shortly thereafter.
This story reminds me that the one year anniversary of the closing of NYCOTB passed without much fanfare or notice [updated - actually jumping the gun here, it closed last Dec 8]. I'd guess that streaming has a fair amount to do with how little it seems to be missed; even, as far as NYRA was concerned, before Resorts World opened.
NYRA alone saw a major boost in its account wagering program, known as NYRA Rewards. Its year-to-date figures show that the Internet handle is $79.6 million. That’s up 195% from the $26.9 million that was wagered via the internet during the same period in 2010. The total NYRA Rewards handle — which includes telephone-account wagering and at-track betting via accounts — is $206 million this year, as opposed to the $107 million for the same period last year. [Metropolis]The purse increases that will result from the slots money will impact racing far beyond New York, as Jennie Rees noted the other day in the Louisville Courier Journal:
Stalls might not be as hard to get next year with no Breeders’ Cup here and a likely stream of horses heading to New York for slots-fattened purses that will dwarf Churchill’s.Interesting dueling op-ed pieces the other day in the Atlanta Journal Constitution for and against horse racing in Georgia. One, titled Horse racing a good bet for Ga., is by State Rep. Harry Geisinger, a Republican who introduced the bill. And he rather oversimplifies things, and twists the facts as well.
..let’s see what purse Aqueduct provides in 2012 for its Remsen and Demoiselle for 2-year-olds; both were $200,000. It’s going to be increasingly tough for Churchill to compete for the best horses.
Let’s get the “gambling” issue out of the way. This amendment does not allow for casinos, dog racing, slot machines or Elvis wedding chapels. All of that can stay in Vegas. So what makes pari-mutuel wagering different from gambling?For one thing, a lot of horseplayers would be happy with an 18% takeout if it applied to all wagers. But, as you may know, the takeout by the casino "house" is actually far lower than those at the tracks.
In simple terms, when you gamble, you are betting against the “house,” and the odds are stacked against you. With pari-mutuel, you are betting against the other bettors in each race. If you bet $1 on a horse, the “track” will take 18 cents to operate the track, pay taxes, purses to the horses and other overhead, while you share 82 cents with each of the other bettors.
The opposing opinion piece, Gambling Leads to Dire Results, was authored by the second vice president of the Georgia Baptist Convention. So you might guess what's coming next.
Gambling creates a climate with a concept that one can strike it rich based on luck, rather than work and personal responsibility. The providence of God and personal accountability are overlooked with an aggressive campaign to entice people to depend upon luck for their success.I thought that luckiness was close to Godliness, or something like that? Guess not.