Thanks to Pull the Pocket for bringing attention to the current feud between TVG and Twinspires over Twinspires' Avoid the Quarter Hog marketing campaign. As Pull the Pocket has reported on his blog, TVG has sent a cease and desist letter to Twinspires claiming their ad campaign is 'misleading', for claiming TVG charges a quarter for each wager (where the fee is capped off at $19.95 a month) or you can pay a flat $19.95 fee which provides for free online streaming (otherwise it is an additional $5.95 per month). Regardless of which way you go, you will get your fee(s) refunded if you wager $2,500 per month (only $200 a month to get the online streaming fee refunded). For the record, other than a $5.00 for credit card deposits into your account, there are no fees involved with Twinspires (there are reasonable requirements to get access to their live video, such as wagering $50 over the last five days you used their video product; to make sure you just don't open an account to get free video).
Now, whether or not TVG escalates this complaint remains to be seen. Not being a lawyer, I don't know if they have the proverbial leg to stand on but after looking at the website dedicated to 'Avoiding the Quarter Hog', there is no mention of the actual TVG fees, perhaps hoping you assume TVG charges a quarter per wager on an unlimited basis. I will leave it to these two companies to fight it out amongst themselves.
Now, as far as I am concerned, I prefer going to the track. To me there is nothing like hearing the hooves hitting the track and hearing the sulky wheels woosh as they go by and dare I say, the smells when the wind blows the right or wrong (depending on your perspective) way. However, even I have an ADW account because there are times you can't get to the track.
Regardless how this dispute plays out, I find it personally objectionable for any ADW to charge me to wager. Now granted, if you are a serious gambler, odds are you are going to get your fees refunded to you and will be eligible for rebates on top of that, but if you are more of a recreational or $2 player, odds are you would be owing fees. Will you be profitable for an ADW if you are a $2 player? Maybe, maybe not, but considering how much it costs to handle your account and the expense the ADW will have in placing your bet, the cost to the ADW is negligible, especially when you consider how much out of each bet the ADW gets to pocket for themselves.
Being I am basically a win wager gambler, that $.25 fee is similar to the surcharge New Yorks' OTBs charge; they don't see me anymore since I got my ADW account. To me, it is a matter of principle. You don't charge me for the privilege of making money off of me.
Bottom line is, you are the consumer and unless you are a resident of a state like New Jersey where there is only one legal ADW available, you have a choice. Just remember, they need you more than you need them. As the consumer, you're in the driver's seat so do your due diligence and select the ADW(s) that fit your needs.
After all, it is your money.
NJTHA lease of Monmouth Park Upheld - On to the courts. John Brennan of The Record, goes into detail about the hearing officer's report.