Betting Group Launches Protest Actions

A group of bettors angered at the divisive state of advance deposit wagering has taken action by staging what it termed a “buycott” at a New Mexico racetrack, and also launched a protest Web site against a content provider.

The initial wagering protest involved focused betting on the Aug. 25 card at The Downs Racetrack & Casino at Albuquerque. The group claimed victory, saying its influence was felt in helping raise the off-track handle 78.6% to $126,057 from a $70,596 total recorded at the track Aug. 18.

“Unofficially, today's handle was the highest of the meet,” the track’s racing secretary, Stuart Slagle, wrote Aug. 25 in a post on PaceAdvantage.com

The PaceAdvantage Web site is where the protest concept was launched earlier this month. Posters claimed the Albuquerque total would have been higher, but many bettors who would have participated in the action couldn’t wager because their accounts didn’t carry the track.

Another poster claimed only three North American tracks showed increases in handle when comparing Aug. 18 to Aug. 25 – Saratoga, Monmouth and the Albuquerque track, which featured four Quarter Horse races on its 10-race card.

Additionally, a Web site called boycotttracknet.com was launched with the intent of better organizing bettors, and to voice frustration with TrackNet Media Group, the joint content venture formed earlier this year by Churchill Downs and Magna Entertainment.

Chicago-area bettor Richard Young, who organized the boycott Web site and is a forum poster, said he was personally pleased with the early results of the protests.

“I think what happened at Albuquerque is phenomenal,” he said. “I am only speaking for myself, but I think every track in the country wants to have the next 'buycott' at their track. And there are a couple of tracks that may be considered for a boycott.”

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