Looking around where HANA Harness has announced the survey regarding new wager types (there is a link on the top right hand side of this blog for it), there have been comments as to why we are looking at new wager types in the first place? Takeout should be the first issue to be tackled. What is wrong with the existing wagers? Other comments as well.
The answer to these criticisms is why not look at new wagers? First of all one of HANA's major concerns has been and remains to be a lower takeout. Introducing new wager types does not change HANA's commitment to lower takeouts. Should any new wagers be introduced, they too should have lower takeouts.
There is nothing wrong per se with existing wagers other than some of these wagers have no appeal to big time gamblers; some of these wagers have no appeal to smaller gamblers; all of these existing wagers have little to no appeal for slot players. We have already seen quiniella wagers have little interest with all horseplayers. Pick 5s and Pick 6s have a limited audience, primarily with whales and syndicates when the purses are large. Pick 4s also tend to appeal to the regular gamblers who have no problem placing over $70 on a single wager. So the smaller gamblers, are left with the traditional win, place, and show wagers that typically play little as well as Exactas and Trifectas which also tend to pay small payoffs; payoffs which really are not big enough for the risk. Superfectas? Many tracks allow dime wagers on them, so when a smaller gambler plays them, they win a whopping $10 to $20; at the same time the dime wagers allow the smaller gamblers to cover more combinations that the larger gamblers have less interest in the Superfectas because the chance for a big score has been eliminated. As for the slot players, these wagers tend to have little appeal because there is a lot of education and thinking involved; something they don't want to invest time into.
Do some of these potential wagers have an appeal with larger gamblers, giving them more opportunities to go for a bigger score? Do some of these wagers have potential for the smaller gamblers to give them potential for larger payoffs without investing a lot of money; perhaps inducing them to come to the track or wager on the races more often? Do some of these wagers have more appeal to the slot crowd; a way for them to play with less knowledge or investment of time and give them a chance of winning something more than wagering on the 3-5 favorite? What about those people who like the idea of parlaying, do any of these wagers appeal to them; allowing them not only to parlay but give them a chance to still collect if one of their selections don't win or having to get all their selections right? I don't know. You decide which of these wagers may appeal to you.
What about the racing interests who think certain wagers are the answer to their problems? Wouldn't it be something if the wager they feel is the end all to their problems is rejected by gamblers in a survey so they have the option of abandoning that wager now rather than investing all that time into a bringing a wager to fruition only to flop?
Why not look at wagers offered abroad? Yes, they may not be wagers we are used to, but if there is success in them overseas, should we just dismiss them because we never offered those wagers before? Remember, racing hasn't changed much in many years, perhaps some of these wagers may offer new life into the game, maybe not. One thing for sure, if we don't look at the wagers, we will never know. Can we afford not to look at them?
Typically, industries ask their customers what they would like to see. Well, racing is one of those industries which tends to assume it knows what people want. Wouldn't it be nice for once to be able to tell the industry what gamblers want to see and let them have the results so they can at least consider our collective interests? Yes there are many problems in racing, but racing doesn't have the luxury of fixing one problem at a time; it needs to work on parallel paths. If a new wager is one of those ways to fix the sport great; if not that's fine too. What is important is we will know.
Jeff Gural has indicated he will be looking at bringing in some new wager tpes to the Meadowlands as well as the means to deliver these wagers. Wouldn't it be nice to provide him with some input?
Whether something comes out of looking at new wagers who can say? Without information, there is no way to know. Here is your chance to have your say. How often do you have the opportunity to offer your opinion? You have the opportunity now. Don't squander it; take the survey.
You can click on the link in the upper right hand corner to take the survey or you may go directly to the survey by clicking here.