view counter
view counter

The Industry Is The Customer


Published: February 5, 2009 2:43 pm ET

Last Comment: February 8, 2009 8:56 pm ET | 5 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Trot Insider reports that a prominent gaming authority today told an audience of harness racing executives that if slot machines are in place to save the industry, they are failing because of racing's inability to realize that "without customers, there is nothing to save."

Bill Eadington, internationally-known gaming authority from the University of Nevada Reno, told the Harness Racing Congress in Las Vegas today that contrary to the general perception that horses, horsepeople, owners and breeders are the foundation of the industry, "the demand from customers is what is essentially important. That is the essence of the argument that must be dealt with or else you are swimming upstream and the current will push you back ultimately.

"Legislators are going to look at racing and say, 'is this worth saving?' The vulnerability is very, very strong. Especially under these harsh economic times, you'll see a lot of revisiting of this whole model."

Eadington was speaking on a panel titled 'Racinos: Racing's Savior or a Potential Road to Doom' along with Nick Eaves, president of Woodbine Entertainment Group.

While Eaves did point to the need to embrace greater technology in order to grow the business, he also pointed to solid fundamentals at Woodbine and questioned the gloomy outlook. "I'm not sure there is a problem. I think we're overstating the problem. The discussions should be about solutions and realities."

Eaves said that between 1990 and 1998, pari-mutuel wagering at Woodbine went from $930 million to $770. "In 2008, it is at $870 million," he said. "The reality is that we've made good use of the benefits of the (slots) program.

"There is a plan at Woodbine for the financial problems ahead. Our core business is horse racing. And the money that has come in from slots has been reinvested into horse racing. We've invested into the core racing business. We have 5.5 million visitors that come to Woodbine annually and we've now partnered with an entertainment company to create a development that will reach out to a customer that wouldn't otherwise come to see racing."

Eadington, who sees a very grim view of the future of horse racing, urged the audience to look outwardly for answers.

"You should, if you haven't already, look carefully at the United Kingdom, which has a viable horse betting market. It's a market which also has legalized sports gambling. The internet has the potential to generate new markets and new interest with new generations."

When asked about horse racing`s ability to survive, Eadington spoke cautiously. "I'm skeptical on the ability to do it. So many people have a stake in the status quo. If we were looking at this as a generic industry, it would have to contract. You need a major league and you don't have it. You need stars, you don't have it. And you need consolidation. Regrettably you are caught up with all the baggage of 100 years."

February 8, 2009 - 8:56 pmFROM FIFTH TO FIRST When are

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...


When are the judges at Woodbine going to start suspending drivers for leaving the rail during the stretch drive and allowing a horse to come from fifth to first without leaving the rail and doing any racing on its own. This happens time and time again at Woodbine. Paul Macdonnell is an obrian award winner and the drive he gave on Mattiscape Sealster is appauling, he should have been suspended for dileberately leaving the rail during the stretch drive and letting Joshua Park come up the rail and win the race at long odds. This horse should never have been in the top three without the help of numerous drivers in this race. By the way, did any of the judges see Dan Megans conversing with another driver during the post parade which leads me to believe that that race should have been investigated. Lets nail some of these so called professional drivers for dileberately leaving the rail during the stretch drive, as Paul Macdonnell did Saturday night. I'm sure Pat Hudon thanked Paul after the race for all of his help. Come on judges let's stop this illegal practice of leaving the rail which happens all of the time at Woodbine. You can fool the judges, but you can't fool the consumer. Integrity in racing is at an all time low because of all of this.

February 6, 2009 - 2:09 pmFirst of all in response to

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

First of all in response to the comment about whether I watched the race, for the record yes I did. As a horse player of over 35 years as well as having been an owner I think my opinionmust count for something. So if we are to beleive the person who worte the above comment then we are to beleive that San Pail set honest fractions. Well gee don't closers normally close when the fractions are honest??? So I am to beleive that San Pail set honest fractions (which by the way I am not denying he didn't) but all the other horses were unable to close in these hoest fractions. Not one horse could pass another.Give me a break and please do not insult my intelligence. I have seen far too many races to see horse go first over and win, or come from the clouds and win, etc etc and the fractions don't always justify it. Funny how it wasn't too long ago, if my friend cares to check the records that Please Poppy had no problem going first over and not only passed horses but actually won the race in a race where "honest" fractions were cut, but all of a sudden no horse can pass another????
If they can't compete at the level they are racing in then maybe they should not be competing. But please don't give me this nonsense about honest fractions.
A few weeks back you couldn't find San pail with a search warrant but suddenly he is good enough to cut honest fractions and nobody can challenge him?
Give me a break.

February 6, 2009 - 3:58 amHORSE PP - I'm not sure if

AL (not verified) SAID...

HORSE PP - I'm not sure if you actually watched that race, but it was a fairy non-competitive affair, and San Pail set very honest splits while winning in 53. How do you expect some horse to pull when they're all gapped out just trying to suck the rail? Where would your precious "integrity" have been if Mark had pulled while not even keeping up and let Sylvain steal his spot on the rail, then ran off the ticket? I'm pretty sure anyone that bet that race the way it came in isn't complaining. If the half had been in a minute or something, you'd have a point, but it didn't, and you don't...
What would you have the new judges do - punish them for not being able to go 1:52?

February 5, 2009 - 10:18 pmI agree with Mr. Eadington

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

I agree with Mr. Eadington concerning 'the 100 year old baggage' this is a major problem and needs to be addressed. We've always whipped horses, we've always done it that way, look at the crowds back in the days of Haughton, Dancer and O'Brien and they whipped their horses.. these days are long gone friends and the people of today don't see it the same way as grandma and grandad did.. it's a different age, we need accountbility in our judges and within the racing commission. You can't hide away from bad decisions these days.. video replay is out there for all to see!!!

February 5, 2009 - 3:27 pmHorse PP

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

Horse PP 1/4 1/2 3/4 Stretch Finish Time 1/4 Driver Odds Trainer
6 San Pail 5 1/1T 1/1H 1/1Q 1/1H 1/2H 1:53.1 28 Ra Waples 1.35 R Hughes
2 Scorpion Moon 2 2/1T 2/1H 2/1Q 2/1H 2/2H 1:53.3 28.1 J Jamieson 3.25 T Brainard
3 Please Poppy 3 3/3H 3/3Q 3/3Q 3/3T 3/3Q 1:53.4 28 Ma Macdonald 1.10* P Henriksen
1 Stick Man Moe 1 4/5T 4/5Q 4/5 4/6Q 4/4T 1:54.1 28 S Filion 24.75 R Moreau
5 Earlsact 4 5/8 5/7Q 5/6T 5/6T 5/5T 1:54.2 27.4 S Zeron 27.70 R Zeron
4 Enny Youngman SCRATCHED - VET(SICK)

I would like people to please take a look at the line results for the high level trot. Am I the only person who sees this. If so we better get new judges.The horses left in post position order and went around the track that way. Not one horse (actually driver) made one move to overtake another horse. AND THIS IS BASICALLY THE FREE FOR ALL TROT.YOU CALL THIS RACING??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME. THIS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN AT THE MEADOWLANDS WHERE THEY ACTUALLY RACE.NOT ONE HORSE OVERTOOK ANOTHER. UNTIL YOU GET INTEGRITY BACK IN THE GAME YOU CAN HAVE ALL THE PLANS AND CASINOS YOU WANT. PEOPLE WILL NOT COME BECAUSE THERE ARE SERIOUS, SERIOUS PROBLEMS AND IT IS SO BLATANTLY OBVIOUS. WHY SHOULD I WASTE MY MONEY ON THIS TYPE OF STUFF? IF I WANTED A PARADE I'D GO SEE ONE DOWNTOWN.

view counter

© 2021 Standardbred Canada. All rights reserved. Use of this site signifies your agreement and compliance with the legal disclaimer and privacy policy.

Firefox 3 Best with IE 7 Built with Drupal