Newsflash: ADWs are eaating racetracks for lunch.
Well, if you are a regular reader of this blog or follow the racing industry to any degree, this is not news to you. When considering size, ADWs are taking wagers on horse racing without having to put on any product with relatively low overhead when compared to racetracks. Many people don't go to the track even if it is down the street because it is convenient for them to stay home. Go to the track and you will find post time lag frustrating if not infuriating. When at home you may be irked by post time lag, but you have the option to change the signal to another track and return to your original signal when the race actually will go off.
Start and ADW. This means developing a brand and then expanding it through the nation.. It means offering rebates as the big ADWs are doing. We aren't talking about bringing down the TVGs and Twinspires, it means joining them at their own game.
What good is having your own ADW? It means keeping a lot more of the pie; the percentage of income going to the ADWs will stay with the tracks and horsemen. Not that you will get it all back, after all we are talking about competing against the existing ADWs, competing being the big word and keeping a larger part of the bet than you are getting right now.
You may be saying, "Wait a minute, my local track has its own ADW, isn't this what you are talking about?". Of course you want your local wagering coming through you but most of the money being bet on our product is coming from other states. Tracks need to expand their ADWs into the states pumping up their pools.
NYRA gets this. Their NYRA Bets has now entered California growing its market area. Now to be fair, most tracks are not the size of NYRA so it is hard to see Boondock Downs offering a national ADW, but Boondock Downs and a number of other harness tracks can join together and go national.
It won't happen many of you are saying. Racetracks are owned by gambling companies and they will be happy to get rid of racing is the general consensus. Under the current model this is indeed true. But what would happen if they were part of a nation-wide ADW which made racing a break-even or a profit center? This would interest them. What we need is a group to come up with the business case for an ADW operated by a consortium of harness tracks and have the tracks sign-up.
It is often the first step which is the hardest, will anyone step up and take control?