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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bickering Their Way to Irrelevancy

Barring an agreement, expect some harness racing fans disappointed because they will be unable to wager on the Meadowlands' signal due to an impasse between Monarch Content Management Company (MCM) and the Mid-Atlantic Cooperative.  The reason for the impasse, MCM demanding higher rates for the signal of the tracks they represent.  With the exception of Freehold, if no agreement is reached, the tracks of the Co-op will be unable to take the Meadowlands signal.

Here we go again.   The two parties may not reach an agreement in time resulting in the tracks missing a few days of the Meadowlands signal, an agreement will be reached, and things will go back to normal except for the customer who will find themselves ignored once again.  A few may bet other tracks, others will not bother to go to their simulcast center because they only bet the Meadowlands.  Some of them will be back when the dispute is settled, others won't return as they will have been played with once too many times.

I understand MCM handles some of the most desired signals in America and as such, they can command a higher premium than a signal from a Lewiston Raceway.  The problem is the whole simulcast model is broken.  The fact tracks and horsemen are splitting 3% of the handle wagered elsewhere for producing the product while the tracks and ADWs taking their signal and keep the balance of the commission is absurd.  Yes, I know this arrangement is what allows rebates to be offered, but there needs to be a better way to offer gamblers a game with a smaller takeout which will allow the elimination or reduction of rebates and allow tracks and horsemen from the host track to get a bigger share of the pie while allowing those offering wagering to make a profit.

This whole situation calls for a different tack to taken; they have to.  Otherwise, the industry is going to bicker itself into irrelevancy or extinction.

By the way, are you frustrated by this lunacy?  May I suggest this post from PTP earlier this week?  It may reduce your frustration level.

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