Horse racing, including harness racing is a very intimidating game. There are multitudes of nuances to be learned; one being reading the past performance program. How do we expect people to learn the game? With their hard earned dollars.
Think about it, we are asking people who know nothing about horse racing and increasingly, parents that have no knowledge of horse racing to learn how to play the game making mistakes left and right. If not for luck, they will almost be sure to lose when they start out and we wonder why they don't return.
At a panel discussion last night at the University of Arizona's Symposium on Racing and Gaming, this way of learning how to play the horses is a thing of the past. As with online poker and thoroughbred racing, harness racing has to develop its own night school; either online seminars teaching people to play harness racing or web training or simulations where future gamblers will be able to play horse racing with virtual dollars, build their confidence so when they do start playing the trotters, they have a feeling they know what they are doing rather than being intimidated, losing, and never returning.
The question is will there be anyone in harness racing willing to foot the bill to host/develop such a program?