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Friday, November 4, 2016

IF You Can't Beat Them, Join Them

Newsflash:  ADWs are eaating racetracks for lunch.

Well, if you are a regular reader of this blog or follow the racing industry to any degree, this is not news to you.  When considering size, ADWs are taking wagers on horse racing without having to put on any product with relatively low overhead when compared to racetracks.  Many people don't go to the track even if it is down the street because it is convenient for them to stay home.   Go to the track and you will find post time lag frustrating if not infuriating.  When at home you may be irked by post time lag, but you have the option to change the signal to another track and return to your original signal when the race actually will go off.  

Some may argue the ADWs has helped racing.  With the money wagered through ADWs, some tracks have handles which they could never imagine on their own.  Just look at Monticello Raceway as an example; it is one of the highest handles in the United States among harness tracks but what good is the increase in revenue if tracks and horsemen are getting 1.5% each?  The only way racing is going to survive is by competing against the ADWs at their own game.

Start and ADW.  This means developing a brand and then expanding it through the nation..  It means offering rebates as the big ADWs are doing.  We aren't talking about bringing down the TVGs and Twinspires, it means joining them at their own game.  

What good is having your own ADW?  It means keeping a lot more of the pie; the percentage of income going to the ADWs will stay with the tracks and horsemen.  Not that you will get it all back, after all we are talking about competing against the existing ADWs, competing being the big word and keeping a larger part of the bet than you are getting right now.

You may be saying, "Wait a minute, my local track has its own ADW, isn't this what you are talking about?".  Of course you want your local wagering coming through you but most of the money being bet on our product is coming from other states.  Tracks need to expand their ADWs into the states pumping up their pools.

NYRA gets this.  Their NYRA Bets has now entered California growing its market area.  Now to be fair, most tracks are not the size of NYRA so it is hard to see Boondock Downs offering a national ADW, but Boondock Downs and a number of other harness tracks can join together and go national.

It won't happen many of you are saying.  Racetracks are owned by gambling companies and they will be happy to get rid of racing is the general consensus.  Under the current model this is indeed true.  But what would happen if they were part of a nation-wide ADW which made racing a break-even or a profit center?  This would interest them.  What we need is a group to come up with the business case for an ADW operated by a consortium of harness tracks and have the tracks sign-up. 

It is often the first step which is the hardest, will anyone step up and take control?


Anonymous said...

My local track management would look at your idea and blow it off like nearly all customer suggestions.

The track operates an ADW with a mediocre sign up bonus, but no regular daily, weekly or even monthly promotions. How has that business grown? Customers who bet every week of live racing number in the DOZENS.

For internet and on track wagering, the betting menu is unimaginative. Take out is not competitive. Pool guarantees? Never. There isn't even all-weather seating for those who make the effort to get to the track, unless they go to the dining room.

My track never leads the way with new ideas, but it was quick to follow other tracks when post time drag began.

Pacingguy said...

May I ask what track this is?

Anonymous said...

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Anonymous said...

Clarification about the Pocono ADW. Betting through the ADW does have reward points. Three points for every dollar bet for wagering $5,000 or more monthly. The ADW has no regular promotions such as free bets on certain days, bonuses on winning bets at a specific track or type of bet that is common at many ADWs.

Anonymous said...

Typo correction about Pocono reward points. Three points for every $370 bet when $5,000 or more is wagered monthly.