The results are in from the third HANA Harness survey which concerned itself with the gamblers receptiveness to wagers traditionally not offered at harness tracks as well as wagers offered overseas on harness racing to see if there is a demand for new wagers at harness tracks.
For the most part, horseplayers are satisfied with the wagers currently being offered and are not looking for new wagers to be offered. Some of it is harness racing's traditional reluctance to change (it applies to gamblers as well), some of the hesitation is the fear that any new wager may dilute existing wagering pools. The survey did ask for people to look at each wager in isolation without regard to possible dilution, but in reality it was probably hard to ignore possible dilution.
Let's look at each wager surveyed and see what the results of the survey were:
No Thank You
Double Quiniella (Picking the Quiniella in two consecutive races) Yes - 39.5% No - 50.0% Unsure 10.5%
Tri-Super (Have to hit the Trifecta in one race with winners getting 25% of the pool and exchanging their ticket for a Superfecta in a later race. If no one hits the Superfecta, it is carried over). Yes 21.2% No 74.1% Unsure 4.7%
Place All (Picking in each race on the card a horse that finishes first or second) Yes 38.8% No 54.1% Unsure 7.1%
Foreign Place Wagering (If eight of horses in race you win if horse finishes 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. If less than eight horses, you win only if horse finishes 1st or 2nd) Yes 30.6% No 61.2% Unsure 8.2%
Duet Wagering (Pick two out of the first three finishers in either order; each combination paid out proportionately) Yes 39.3% No 51.2% Unsure 9.5%
Big 6 (Must pick winners in six races may involve multiple tracks) Yes 41.7% No 53.6% Unsure 4.8%
Win Scoop 6 (Offered once a week. Must pick winner of three races each at two tracks. To get jackpot, must pick the winner of a designated race the following week) Yes 28.6% No 61.9% Unsure 9.5%
Place Scoop 6 (Offered once a week. Must pick winner or place horse (foreign) of three races each at two tracks) Yes 27.4% No 63.1% Unsure 9.5%
V65 (You win if you have five or six winners. If you have five winners, you get the dividend for five winners. If you have six winners, you get the dividends for six and five winners) Yes 42.7% No 48.8% Unsure 8.5%
Poker Bet (A parlay where you pick horses in four races and you bet each race as a Win or Exacta wager (instead of a Quiniella) You actually have eleven wagers. R1XR2, R1XR3, R1XR4, R2XR3, R2XR4, R3XR4, R1XR2XR3, R1XR2XR4, R1XR3XR4, R2XR3XR4, and R1XR2XR3XR4 as long as one combination comes in you collect.) Yes 23.2% No 51.2% Unsure 25.6%
All in Parlay (A parlay where you pick horses in four races and you bet each race as a Win or Exacta wager. To collect you must win all four legs) Yes 34.1% No 57.3% Unsure 8.5%
Grand Slam (Picking a horse that comes in the money in the first three races and selecting the winner of the last leg) Yes 47.1% No 48.2% Unsure 4.7%
Place Pot (A Pick 6 where the gambler must pick a horse that finishes in the money in six races) Yes 47.0% No 43.4% Unsure 9.6%
V75 (Typically held once a week at a designated track. The object is to select the winners of the seven designated races, but there are dividends for five and six winners. The total pool is divided as 40% plus any carryover to the bettors who have all seven races; 20% to the bettors who have six winners selected; 40% to the bettors who have five winners selected. If the dividend for having five winners is under a specified amount, there is no payoff and the money is added to the carryover pool the following week) Yes 46.3% No 45.1% Unsure 8.5%
I Want My...
Double Exacta (Picking the Exacta in two consecutive races) Yes 49.4% No 43.5% Unsure 7.1%
V3 (Pick the winner of three designated races, making selections as you go on) Yes 53.0% No 42.2% Unsure 4.8%
V64 (There are dividends for having four, five, or six winners. If you have five winners, you get the dividends for having four and five winners. If you have six winners, you get all three dividends) Yes 60.2% No 36.1% Unsure 3.6%
Observations - As previously stated, most people are happy with the wagers offered now. Gamblers would like to see the Double Exacta, V3 and V64 introduced while the success of the Grand Slam, Place Post and disturbingly, the V75 is less certain. What makes the V75 polling disturbing is that many in the industry look at the V75 as the savior to racing's problems yet there is no clear cut demand for the wager. Perhaps offered as a lottery-type wager it may have success with new gamblers, but the wager may not be enthusiastically embraced by the existing gamblers.
I was somewhat surprised by the lack of demand for the two parlay wagers, the All In and the Poker Bet as many people in the past wanted to have the ability to play parlays. One of the advantages of the parlay is any fractional payoffs would be reinvested in the next leg of the parlay. Granted, these parlays may be more attractive to those who can't be at the track and bet ahead of time. While the Poker Bet was rejected, a large unsure percentage of 25.6% suggests people don't fully understand the mechanics of the wager; perhaps a better explanation may have made this wager more desirable.