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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Gambler Beware

I promise, here is the last time I plan to talk about the fair start rule for a long, long time.

You may be wondering what made me discuss the Fair Start rule once again.  A Canadian gambler brought the Hazel Park race to my attention which made me take a look at it.  After reading my most recent blog on the subject, this individual responded to me saying,

"I honestly had no idea before now that the "Fair Start Rule" only applied up here. I kept expecting to see that the horse was a VERY late scratch, or, to see the inquiry sign and a refund for sure. Imagine my shock when the race was declared official and my money taken.  Gambler Beware!" 

Gambler Beware indeed.  Welcome to the Great Money Grab.

Yesterday I gave the benefit as to why the Fair Start Rule went down to defeat in New Jersey  As I said in yesterday's post I was being naïve to give the NJRC the benefit of the doubt.  Today, I can speak with more certainty.  Supposedly the tote companies would have a problem if a horse left behind at the fair start pole managed to get into a paying position despite being 300' behind at the start.  This is a red herring.  If the tote companies can't handle it the easy thing to do is tell the driver of a horse left behind to pull up or not to scratch the horse until after the race is over to make sure he doesn't finish in a paying position.

Let's not kid ourselves, it is the fear of racetracks and horsemen losing the commission they would have earned on the horse if it was declared a starter.  What if a favorite was left behind at the fair start pole when the race begins?  How much would the track and horsemen lose?

Sadly, the fact is while racing commissions purport to protect the interests of the horseplayer, they are pro-industry and don't really look out for the interests of the horseplayer.

So if you think the racing commission will protect your interests, gamblers beware.

Finally, a story about the danger of betting with an off-shore operation which promises to pay track odds.  One unlucky gambler wagered with one of those off-shore companies and hit the Pick-4 in Australia and was paid zilch.  You see, the off-shore company paid off using North American odds and since the wagers weren't comingled, no one in North America had the Pick-4, hence no payoff on a winning ticket.

So if considering wagering with an off-shore wagering company; gambler beware..


Anonymous said...


Don't apologize for repeated efforts to help racing and the bettors. The problem in most states and at most tracks is that the regulators and the managers aren't gamblers. They don't think like gamblers, they don't know what irritates gamblers and they don't seem interested in finding out.

Isn't it amazing that so many tracks are operated by casinos that go out of their way to learn about casino customers and study what casino customers like and don't like? Yet, just feet away from the casino lies the track and it's treated like a necessary evil. There's money to be made in both places, but I truly believe those with casino backgrounds just don't make the effort to learn about the horses.

Anonymous said...

Why is there no Recall Pole anymore? It makes no sense. So what if it delays the start of the race (as if spending "zero" minutes to Post time for 8 minutes isn't a delay in itself). It's absolutely unfair that you can have a wager on a horse that never took part in the race. Refund or Recall. Anything else is ridiculously unfair.

Pacingguy said...

The recall rule was modified because horsemen complained well behaving horses were being penalized by having to stop and start over, giving them a chance to get hot. I see that point, but in the States instead of instituting the fair start rule the horsemen and commissions conspired to develop the "Great Money Grab" rule.