For the fifth consecutive year, Keeneland, which begins its spring meet April 5, topped the 2013 racetrack ratings produced by the Horseplayers Association of North America.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to dip into purse accounts to take $1.5 million to $2 million per year for equine safety programs at the state's racetracks.
Canterbury Park in Minnesota has slashed the pari-mutuel takeout rate on Pick 3 and Pick 4 wagers by almost 40% for its upcoming meet.
The New York Racing Association is under scrutiny by Gov. Andrew Cuomo like it was when his father, Mario Cuomo, was New York governor 20 years ago.
The New York Racing Association said it is meeting a state request to refund money by March 30 to as many bettors it could identify that were overcharged when NYRA failed to follow a state law to lower its takeout on exotics.
Turfway Park received permission from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Dec. 14 to lower the pari-mutuel takeout rate on Pick 4 wagers to 14% from 22% effective Jan. 1, 2012.
Difficulty in obtaining pari-mutuel wagering pool data and detailed player data is a major hindrance to the racing industry determining the optimal price point for takeout rates, symposium speakers said Dec. 7.
Several of the younger racetrack executives in the United States and overseas believe horse racing isn't going away any time soon--if the industry can adapt.
Turfway Park will ask the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission for permission to lower the pari-mutuel takeout rate on Pick 4 wagers to 14% from 22% effective Jan. 1, 2012.
Tampa Bay Downs will open its 2011-12 meet Dec. 3 with lower pari-mutuel takeout rates on some wagers and $1.5 million in capital improvements.
Beulah Park will begin its 2011-12 racing season Oct. 10 with a renovated racing surface and "pick" wagers with a reduced pari-mutuel takeout of 15%.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races took the first step toward returning more money to bettors Sept. 9 when the West Virginia Racing Commission approved a decrease in pari-mutuel takeout for four wagers.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Jockey Club Aug. 14 announced a nine-step plan for the betterment of horse racing and breeding and expects to spend millions of dollars over the next five years to implement it.
Faced with criticism and a move to decertify it as the official horsemen's organization in California, the Thoroughbred Owners of California held a public forum at Hollywood Park June 25.
An ongoing battle over pari-mutuel takeout rates in California isn't only a major issue in the war over horsemen's representation, but it also has moved horseplayers' involvement in political issues in racing to a new level.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course has been approved to make several schedule and wagering changes, including a return to live racing Wednesday and Thursday nights.
Whether gross or average figures are used, pari-mutuel handle for the Santa Anita Park winter/spring was down, according to information compiled from various sources.
- By Tom LaMarra
Another look at some head-shakers in the horse racing industry, which never fails to produce good material. Read Blog
- By Tom LaMarra
The Horseplayers Association of North America is calling for reversal of a pari-mutuel takeout increase in California as well as creation of a gambling board that would advise the California Horse Racing Board.
Issues impacting the long-term health of California horse racing were dissected Dec. 9 and produced a general message: Think outside the box, because the prospect of revenue from gaming is very dim.
Hialeah Park, a racetrack traditionally known for its high pari-mutuel takeout, has greatly reduced it to 12% across the board.
Delaware Park has received mostly favorable feedback on its ontrack exacta bonus experiment, but its potential may be hard to gauge until it has a chance to grow.
After the first three days of its "exacta bonus" experiment, Delaware Park returned more than $8,000 to players on track, according to figures released by the track the week of Sept. 6.
Delaware Park will experiment with an ontrack-only pari-mutuel takeout reduction from Sept. 4 through Nov. 6, closing day of the meet.
Participants in The Jockey Club Round Table Aug. 22 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., sought to convey optimism and opportunity in the face of declines in many facets of the Thoroughbred industry.
A bill that would not only increase takeout on exotic wagers in California but also introduce "exchange wagering" to the state has drawn opposition within the racing industry.
An experiment by a New York racetrack to lower pari-mutuel takeout in the hope of increasing handle was approved March 26 by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
An upstate New York harness track announced March 11 it wants to reduce pari-mutuel takeout rates to the state minimum in response to calls from horseplayers.
California Thoroughbred racetracks, subject to regulatory approval, could increase pari-mutuel takeout -- return less money to bettors -- and change how the revenue is distributed under legislation signed into law Oct. 23 by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- By Tom LaMarra
Racing executives are listening to players, but not enough, according to a journalist and horseplayer. And one track executive who is willing to try some things believes the industry would balk and put up roadblocks. And so it goes in the pari-mutuel horseracing industry.
- By Tom LaMarra
If the horseracing industry fails to make voluntary changes it has resisted for decades, the only things that may save it from doom are involuntary changes brought on by forces in the gambling and entertainment marketplace, officials said Oct. 13.
Hastings Racecourse in British Columbia has instituted a commission reduction on show wagers.
- By Tom Precious
Negotiators in New York the afternoon of June 13 were putting the final touches on legislation in which the state would take control of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp., thereby averting a shutdown of the city's betting operations for the weekend.
An experiment by which the blended pari-mutuel takeout rate at Laurel Park was cut in half proved popular in theory but not at the betting windows. But was it a bust?
Laurel Park's "Ten Days at 10 Percent" promotion didn't produce the desired results as far as handle is concerned, but track officials said the concept--cutting pari-mutuel takeout in half--should continue to be explored.
In a program billed "Ten Days at 10 Percent -- Racing's Best Bet," pari-mutuel takeout on Maryland's live races will be cut in half during Laurel Park's 10-day summer meet that runs from Aug. 10-23.
The New York Racing Association will have to raise pari-mutuel takeout if it is to obtain a $20-million loan from the state of New York, according to language buried in state budget bills introduced the week of Jan. 16.
The "Head2Head" wager on Breeders' Cup day might also be called "Head2Head2Head" this year as the menu will offer two races with three betting interests instead of the usual two.
A recently released report on wagering trends concludes the "handle up, purses down" situation isn't new, and that "incentive wagering service providers"--rebate operations--improve the competitiveness of the pari-mutuel industry.
Legislation that would authorize a pari-mutuel takeout hike to defray workers' compensation costs passed the California Senate by a 31-6 vote April 22 and is headed to the state Assembly, where it is expected to be addressed the week of April 26.
As some lawmakers and off-track betting corporations push for an increase in pari-mutuel takeout, New York regulators March 30 agreed to lower the takeout on certain pick six wagers at New York Racing Association tracks.
Pari-mutuel takeout wars have begun in New York, where a state senator has introduced legislation to increase the amount the New York Racing Association keeps on wagers. Though the measure's sponsor said the takeout hike is needed to help stop NYRA's financial bleeding, NYRA chairman Barry Schwartz insists the legislation would turn off bettors and decrease purses.
A move by the New York Racing Association to lower the pari-mutuel takeout on pick six wagers is causing controversy even before NYRA formally proposes the plan to state regulators.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association Players' Panel, formed in the wake of the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick 6 fraud of 2002, has issued policy recommendations on subjects of "serious concern and importance" to pari-mutuel customers.
Legislation introduced by a California assemblyman would increase the pari-mutuel takeout on exotics wagers in Thoroughbred races by 0.5% to raise money to cover some workers' compensation costs. Quarter Horse and Standardbred takeout also would be increased to cover costs.
The embattled New York Racing Association, currently fighting off blistering investigations by state authorities over its operations, discovered June 25 that nothing is a sure thing anymore.
Quickly taking advantage of a new pari-mutuel deregulation move by the state, the New York Racing Association has proposed reducing its takeout on certain bets at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga.
A deal to bring video lottery terminals to New York racetracks with an increased slice of the pie for track operators includes other provisions, including removal of restrictions on pari-mutuel takeout. The VLT deal is expected to bring the state $165 million this year, legislative sources said.
California racing officials pondering what to do about a building workers' compensation insurance crisis are closer to submitting legislation that would increase pari-mutuel takeout in the state.
Representatives from the California Thoroughbred industry have scheduled an April 10 meeting at Santa Anita Park to discuss a proposal that would increase pari-mutuel takeout to help pay for spiraling workers' compensation insurance rates.
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