I have been arguing since I have started this blog that the horse racing industry ultimately depends on the horseplayer, something most people discount thanks to slot money.
Well, starting today, this is the reality in Ontario. Little wagering, crappy purses. No horseplayers, no purses. No purses, horses start racing for blankets. Then start looking for racing in the corners of the province at fairgrounds where gentlemen (gentlewoman) race their horses for pride.
The sad thing is south of the border, horsemen still talk about the economic benefits of a strong horse racing industry and how strong the industry is based on the purses their horses race for. Little mention regarding handle.
We saw how strong this argument worked in Ontario. True, it got the racetracks money to keep racing but horsemen are on their own with respect to purses; you earn what you earned. I don't care how strong a political action group you have, it is a matter of time until legislatures decide school teachers and health care win out over horses racing in circles but horsemen still think its the owners who keep racing going. Those who insist this is the way the industry works will be the first ones to (sad to say it) send their horses to rescues, euthanize them, or worse and head for the sidelines.
PTP writes a great blog entry on this issue. I recommend reading it.
You no doubt are aware of the battle going on between the OSRC and PNG regarding the number osf seats available for racing fans. Up to now, the OSRC is requiring more seating, claiming PNG is ignoring the racing side of a racino. This sounds great. But, as this opinion piece suggests, PNG's plans are based on reality. The sad thing is this writer may be right.
Maryland, late to casino gaming is taking it to Delaware and West Virginia tracks by the expansion of Maryland Live; an attempt to get its gamblers back in state. It is a shame New Jersey, the second in the country when it comes to racing, has laid down when it comes to recover its gaming citizens. Some will talk about the commitment to Atlantic City but that effort does nothing to compete the cross-boder wars.