A Casino That Cares About Racing

Published: November 20, 2009 09:14 am EST

While some chide and lament certain racino operators that seem to care more about the casino side than the racing product, that apparently cannot be said about Mohegan Sun


In discussing the recent announcement that Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association have partnered with an arena to secure the naming right for 10 years, PHHA Director of Media & Marketing Ed Kobesky told Trot Radio's Norm Borg that "the great thing about Mohegan Sun as a partner is that they're very 'in tune' to the heritage of the property and they're tremendously positive about harness racing."

Borg and Kobesky discuss how naming the Mohegan Sun Arena will market and promote harness racing, viability during the economic recession and why Pennsylvania's tracks are a pleasure to promote and advertise.

Episode 71 - Ed Kobesky

Running Time: 8:06

Audio Format: MP3 audio

Host: Norm Borg



The problem with harness racing is it has an entitlement mentality much like the CAW workers in the auto industry. Every industry in North America has to compete on price and take heed of the economic laws of supply and demand if it wants to survive in the marketplace. Executives in the race industry that includes, Rideau Carlton, WEG, Pocono and all other tracks think that they don't have to compete on price when it comes to track takeouts.
It's comical and beyond embarrassing that Ed Kobesky at Pocono Downs has the nerve to state that his track cares about the customer when Pocono has highest takeout in North America on Trifecta, and Superfector at 35%.
Norm next time you get some of these racetrack executives on you're show instead of giving them softball questions like you normally do ask them why they have this entitlement mentality where they think they don't have to compete on price when it comes to the track takeout. Hopefully, now you understanding that until harness racing addresses its pricing model and starts to competing on price like every other industry in the world it will continue to be in a free fall and slowly rot away it's fan base like it has the last 20 years.

In reply to by Ted Fenic

You have that right Pennsylvania is an impossible state to wager in with their ridiculous take-outs. At a time when people are trying to convince the regulators that they need lower take-out to compete with other forms of gambling you have all these track in Pennsylvania thinking the opposite & believe they will make more with a higher take-out. Now they are in the process of trying to open another tack in the state, that they have been trying to get funding for.


Only business in the world that is going downhill & continues to open new facilities. Having a lot of new racetracks that are virtually empty does nothing to enhance the image of the sport. It would give any new customers the impression that it was not interesting because there are no "fans" in the place. I noticed Delaware is trying to open another track too (Georgetown). The slots are are controlling the industry now & most operators only have racing as a necessary evil. When the states & provinces start to pull back some of if not all of the slot money to allocate elsewhere, where does that leave harness racing & all these "new" facilities?

I agree with Ted if that information is correct. However I find it is a problem
with all U S harness tracks in seeing what the actual mutual handles and pools are.
I as well as other bettors would like to know the pool sizes before betting any significant amount. If the handles are like Northlands will be this coming meet (likely
averaging under 90,000) why bet?
If anybody can tell me where their handles are published, please let me know.

Takeout on trifectas and superfectas is 35% at Pocono. It drives away every bettor who has an IQ above 12. It also keeps the pools small so it looks like harness racing is a non-viable product. With small pools and no growth due to the 35% takeout, it's just a matter of time till they take the slot welfare away and then racing is gone.

Yeah....they really care about racing.