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Friday, January 14, 2011

First Pennsylvania, Now Indiana, Whose Next?

Last year, the Pennsylvania horsemen got their slot revenue cut by the legislature.  In a new report from Dean at Pull the Pocket, Indiana horsemen are looking at at 43% cut in their slot revenue as part of the new budget.  In Maine, they dodged the bullet this past year, but the question to be asked is who's next to get the slot revenue slashed?

Horsemen keep saying helping horse racing was part of the deal for allowing slots at the racetrack and state governments should keep their hands off of it as it was a promise to the industry.  Well, as we just saw in Illinois, we know how much a promise of a politician means.  The fact is, unless there was a constitutional amendment to get slots at the track and the amendment mentioned a  hard  percentage, your slot revenue is as secure as a tower of playing cards; all it takes is one legislative bill to kick the bottom card out from the tower and it can all disappear, like that.

Jeff Gural understands this.  This is why he is trying to build his horse gambling business at Tioga and Vernon Downs and he is looking at leasing the Meadowlands with the prospect of no slots.  It's about time others in the industry understand it too.  Sooner or later, racing is going to have to stand on its own two feet. There is no time to waste in making the product gambler and customer friendly because without slot revenue, those gamblers are going to be your best friend.  Better start treating them with the respect they deserve.    

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