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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Day After

A crowd of 2,651 attended Aqueduct on Wednesday, the first day of no OTB in New York; as opposed to 2,061 on Nov 24, the prior Wednesday of racing (last week was rained out). Intra-state handle was down from $1.64 million to $862,361. That's 46.9%, above the 40% figure that's been thrown around as the percentage of the state's handle that NYC OTB handled. Add all the handle, including the inter-state wagering, together, and the total handle declined some 17%.

The trick for NYRA is to capture as much business on track as it can either on track or through NYRA Rewards. 61 of the Aqueduct attendees signed up for NYRA Rewards accounts, according to David Grening in the Form.

NYRA reported that 56 new NYRA One accounts had been opened from Friday through Monday.
That's good news for NYRA, which holds a huge advantage over the other state tracks with its NYRA Rewards ADW platform. Perhaps I'm oversimplifying things, but, given that NYRA collects its full on-track share of those wagers, it seems to me that NYRA would have to capture one-third of the wagers placed on its races at NYC OTB in order to break even on the deal. Perhaps that's why Charles Hayward told Grening that neither the possibility of purse cuts at the current Aqueduct meet nor a reduction of racing dates was discussed at a NYRA board meeting.

On the other hand:
Racing and Wagering Board Chairman John Sabini Sabini said Wednesday that some racetracks “made informal inquiries” regarding a reduction in racing dates, though he would not say which ones. [DRF]
The harness horsemen railed against the provision in the failed OTB bill that would have reduced racing dates, so I imagine that any such reductions due to the bill's failure would be a bitter pill.

The NYS Racing and Wagering Board met in a special session, and took some steps to help keep wagering dollars in state - easier and quicker registration, and double rewards points for new NYRA signups. What would really help NYRA of course is if it could provide live streaming of its races. And that's more complicated.

Thanks to Joseph Mahoney of the Board, who explained in an email that Section 1003 of the racing law - written before the internet age and originally intended to apply mainly to in-home simulcasting - provides that NYRA could only stream state-wide if it has reciprocal agreements to do so with each of the regional OTB's. "For example if NYRA had an agreement with Nassau OTB then NYRA and Nassau OTB could provide video streaming/in-home simulcasting in Nassau's region -- but only in Nassau's region, and nowhere else in New York State, unless they entered into other agreements with other OTBs. NYRA would have to have agreements with each of the states 6 regional OTBs to video stream in the entire state." That of course raises the question of what happens if there is no OTB in a particular region....presently the case in NYC.


jk said...

The biggest parasite has been removed and NYRA claims they can survive. Maybe NYRA can now tell the rest of the OTB's to take a hike.

Does anyone know if the "temporary" 1% takeout increase was allowed to sunset as scheduled? This increase was put in for "temporary" help to the OTB's.

If NYRA can survive w/o the OTB's, there is no reason for the horse players to pay for their bloated upkeep.

Anonymous said...

Yes, jk gets it! The bloat of OTB is ridiculous! Have the State Lottery take over accepting bets and also allow them to fund accounts. Some of these outlets which sell lottery tickets and that have Quick Draw can set up an additional monitor to show races.

As for the home bettors, the NYSRWB needs to relinquish this ban that prohibits live video streaming. Get with it, allowing people to watch via tablets and smartphones should have taken place a few years ago.

In western NY, western OTB has Batavia Downs signal on Time Warner Cable systems in Buffalo and Rochester. Do you know what is in the win pools at Batavia Downs? Oh, a might $400 or so. The OTBs have been lost for a long time, and the sooner they get abolished, the better.

Anonymous said...

Watched the Japan Cup (Turf) a couple of weeks ago. While the crowds swelled in the gigantic facility overseas, so did the pools! Win pools were massive.

Here in the U.S., as I watched on TVG, I decided to log on to one of the ADWs to see what was in the pools stateside.

The win pool in the U.S. was about $15,000!