"We'd like to see the takeout rates reduced even further to put the horse racing gamblers on the same level as a slot machine. The slot machines are generally between eight and ten per cent."
On today's episode of Trot Radio, Tioga & Vernon Downs' Vice President of Racing Jason Settlemoir talks about this 2010 harness racing season at Tioga - one in which they offered "the lowest takeout in the land." With that being said, Settlemoir still wants that takeout lower so that the horseplayer and the slot player are on even ground.
One track that has experimented with takeout is Delaware Park. They're offering on-track clientele a lower takeout than simulcast customers, and Settlemoir adds that he is "interested in seeing the numbers from the Delaware Park experiment to see if it drives on track attendance and handle."
While Tioga's horsemen have backed the lower takeout, Vernon Downs' group still has not embraced it the same way. When asked to comment on that situation, Settlemoir declined with a chuckle.
On the topic of horsemen, he did comment on the Racing Development & Sustainability Plan and the joint release issued by the horsemens' groups.
"I think they're looking for some more information," offered Settlemoir, "but I didn't like the way it came out. When I read the release...I was disappointed that they just came out and said no but I think there's some optimism there.
"I've always said this and I'll continue to say it, racing needs a plan. Simply doing things the way we are now status quo is unacceptable as we continue to see - at most most venues - declines in handle and declining attendance."
Episode 149 – Jason Settlemoir
Audio Format: MP3 audio
Host: Norm Borg