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Friday, January 6, 2012

A Different Type of Racing Beard

Today marks the debut of another website which aggregates information from various sites, some traditional websites and also from some of the more colorful harness racing bulletin boards such as Horseplop and Chicago Barn-to-Wire.  Of course, the need to rely on bulletin boards for news (I should say opinions) may be necessitated by the lack of traditional Internet media sources dedicated to harness racing that thoroughbred racing has.  The site may or may not be your cup of tea as in particular, one message board being referenced tends to be more spicy than your taste, and some message boards may or may not be reporting accurate information.  Some people are going to like it; some aren't.  The only thing I can suggest is try it yourself and see if it is your cup of tea.

In New Jersey, there is a move to get off track wagering moving.  Two bills will be voted on Monday.  One will give tracks six months to decide if they are going to build out their OTW network and require a $1 million deposit for each unbuilt OTW they are licensed for.  At the end of six months, if the track has not to built the OTW or shown significant progress, the $1 million will be forfeited go the horsemen for use in building their own OTW facilities.  The other bill gives track the right to select up to twelve restaurants or bars to house self wagering machines.  Since this is a trial, the locations need to be north of Ocean County and may not be located near an existing racetrack.  The NJRC would have to approve these locations and a limit of twenty machines statewide would be established for the three year trial period at which point the state would decide whether or not to proceed.

I must admit, I initially had a concern that the tracks are already trying to get away from building OTWs and going with local establishments.  Yes, local establishments eliminate construction costs, but I tend to doubt facilities with one tote machine are going to bring in the handle desired to increase purses.  Perhaps the problem California has with its satellite wagering network has convinced Gural and the NJSEA (for Monmouth) that eventually the clients going to the OTWs will age out and be replaced with gamblers betting from home.

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