Does anyone have faith in horse racing anymore? To be more precise, does anyone have faith in horse racing besides Jeff Gural? Make no mistake, nothing would please Jeff Gural than getting slots at the Meadowlands, but it is his goal to make racing fun and self-supporting. It seems the only thing anyone in racing (with the exception of California which has its own problems with casinos as a result of its compact with Indian gaming) knows is slots, slots, and slots.
Yes, I do reluctantly support slots at racetracks only because those tracks without slots are competing at a severe disadvantage but nothing would please me more than having every single slot machine yanked out of every racetrack in the United States. I rather have track officials and horsemen get together and discuss how racing could survive on its own and compete against the casino industry. Things like:
- Divorced from state racing commissions and establish a national regulatory body.
- Speed up these blooming horse races. There is no reason why races can't be run five races in an hour.
- Lower takeout.
- Introduce new bets
- Set up a national racing calendar which sets up the schedule for racetracks throughout the country so there is not 30 or more thoroughbred and harness tracks operating at the same time. Have each track run seasons and have them run from 10am in the morning until midnight on the East coast. There is no reason why more than ten tracks from all breeds are running nationally).
- Provide alternative entertainment at the racetracks which would be held before or after the racing card so racetracks would become destination centers.
- Appreciate customers. They are no longer degenerate gamblers. The customer should be looked at no different than the person who attends baseball or other games.
- Remember why we are here. We are here for the customers, not ourselves.
- Standardize rules with meaningful (severe fines and suspensions)..
- Establish a more reliable tote system where people are confident there is no past posting.
- Establish a national ADW system which will compete against the ADWs that will offer rebates to the heavy hitters yet instead of making their owner a profit, run as a non-profit and return more to the racetracks for purses and operating funds.
- Improve capital spending. If a track does not maintain or improve their facilities, reduce the number of racing days.
- Ensure the humane treatment of race horses including retirement and post-racing careers.
- Speaking of humane treatment. Concessions that people actually would want to eat, not have to eat.
- Uniform drug testing including referring class 1 and class 2 drugs to prosecutors.
- Establish regional training centers under the control of the national agency which would be the same as if they were stabled on the backstretch. Horses would be shipped by the national agency to the respective tracks to prevent on the road doping.
- Commissioner or some other regulating board to rule on certain issues.
- Obtain a monopoly exemption from the US Government only for purposes of regulation to allow regulators to suspend those who need to be suspended until a hearing can be held to expel an individual when clearly necessary.