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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

What Planet is Hot Springs, Arkansas On?

33,310 in attendance on President’s Day. Live and simulcast handle up 10%. Where is this, the Bizarro universe? The Star Trek episode when Kirk, Bones and the crew found themselves in a parallel universe where everything was opposite?

No, it’s Oaklawn Park, and just reading about the excitement that racing generates there gets me all hepped up.

In addition, the track reported that the handle on their Instant Racing machines topped $1 million for the first time on Monday. Instant Racing is a slots-type machine, but the payoffs are based on actual old races. If it were up to me, we’d see much more of these machines, or some variant on them, in racinos throughout the country. At least then there would be a chance that players might gain some interest in the sport itself; with the usual mindless slots, there’s little or no chance of that at all from what I’ve seen. With the coming saturation of legalized gambling, racing needs to look to derive other dividends from racinos when the money starts to get diverted elsewhere.