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Monday, June 3, 2013

Delaware Becoming Atlantic City?

Could Dover Downs go broke, threatening harness racing there?  It is not out of the realm of possibility as they continue to contend with a high state tax, looking at the possibility of layoffs to help reign in expenses and cutting back on capital spending.  The track has already gone through three bank loans for capital expenditures as they invested in their facility; it is highly unlikely another bank would come to their rescue.

In a bit of irony, Dover Downs, Delaware Park, Harrington Raceway are suffering the plight Atlantic City has gone through (Harrington has gone to a four day a week schedule to cut expenses).  Investing in their properties as if they were the only game around only to find their spending to have been too much as they have lost convenience gamblers to Pennsylvania, Maryland, and other states.  The only difference is unlike Atlantic City, they realize it is hard to get convenience gamblers to travel two hours when they only need to go fifteen minutes away.

Are you listening Governor Christie?

In the meanwhile, Saratoga horsemen heard about the casino expansion at Saratoga Raceway the same way everyone else heard, through the press.  The horsemen will be losing their training track but it turns out things will work out, this time around.  Who knows what happens next time.

1 comment:

JLB said...

It would be ironic if the Delaware harness tracks, in losing their competitive advantage, had to revert to a purse structure resembling what they struggled with in the 70's and 80's, where the Open went for $ 1500, and the lowest class about $ 700. At one time, till the early 70's, Georgetown Raceway in Southern Delaware, raced Winter and Summer meets where EVERY purse was $ 500. It, with Wheeling Downs (W. Va.) actually filled a gap in the Winter schedule, as the now-defunct Liberty Bell would only open in February. For its Summer meet, Georgetown actually attracted a few patrons VIA FERRY from Southern NJ, and I recall that on at least a few occasions, they held up the posttime for a few minutes because the ferry was delayed by fog.