Pocono Downs has decided to lower their takeout on Superfecta and Trifecta wagers from 35% to 25% starting August 2 through the end of the current race meet. In the press release, Dale Rapson, Vice President in charge of racing, indicated this is a temporary reduction to see how the change in the takeout reflects in their handle.
Granted, the reduction in the takeout may not have people jumping out of their seat to rush to Pocono Downs, but I certainly hope people do increase their play at Pocono. I am certainly not suggesting people flee tracks with better takeout rates, but players need to know ignoring Pocono will not only result in the takeout rate possibly being restored to extortionist rates next year; it may give other tracks thinking of reducing their takeout pause despite the success of Tioga Downs experiment. Pocono's reduction is like taking a baby taking their first steps. With encouragement they will take additional steps forward; failure will result in returning to their comfort zone; even if it is against their best interests in the long run.
The owner of the now-closed Rosecroft Raceway is suing Maryland Thoroughbred interests for anti-competitive actions and violations of federal anti-trust law claiming they orchestrated the demise of the raceway due to cutting the thoroughbred signal to Rosecroft. Did the thoroughbred interests want the trotters out of the scene? Perhaps they did, but the fact is no one put a gun to Cloverleaf Enterprise's head to sign the original agreement to pay thoroughbred interests for their signal.
The real question should be what did Maryland and national harness racing interests (management et al) do or failed to do which resulted in 95% of Rosecroft's gambling revenue coming from thoroughbred simulcasting? There is a big problem when only 5% of the money wagered on horses at a harness track comes from its own breed. Rather than suing the thoroughbred interests, Maryland harness racing interests should be looking at themselves to see what went wrong and what could have been done to avoid these problems. More importantly, harness racing interests elsewhere should be asking themselves the same question so they avoid a similar situation.