They just don't get it.
Thoroughbred racing in California is in trouble. The runners have to compete against casinos and other gambling options so Oak Tree, Santa Anita and the Los Angeles County Fair go to the California legislature and ask for relief. The legislature is happy to oblige so they pass a law for the runners and agricultural fairs to increase the takeout on bets to help acquire and maintain facilities as well as increasing purses. That is right, the runners are being allowed to increase the takeout by 5%. Despite all the studies and basic economic principles which show a lower takeout will increase wagering, the tracks decide to soak their customers even more.
The only possible explanation? The tracks must think their customers are idiots. The casual fan who goes to the California fairs may not care much about the takeout rate but rest assured raising the takeout rate is going to chase the in state big gamblers to the casinos and the other gambling choices the tracks are trying to compete against. The out of state gamblers? They will take their gambling dollars and wager at other tracks with more favorable takeout rates. As for the casual fan who doesn't really care about the takeout rate? They will lose quicker and more often and decide racing is not the game for them.
I suspect the customers will teach the tracks a lesson. The question is can track management learn?
I fear not.