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Dog Tracks, Horse Tracks and fig leafs...

Discussion in 'Casino Industry & Development' started by deansrobinson, May 5, 2017.

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  1. deansrobinson

    deansrobinson VIP Whale

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    I wanna axe y'all two quextions:

    It is my opinion that dog and horse racing is on the wane. Sea World. Ringling Brothers. Expansion of tribal venues. There's a whole new vibe when it comes to this sort of thing.

    And here in the land of the double-wide, our legislature is besieged with the complexity of expanding gaming at these venues. I'm just guessing, but adding slots and poker to dog tracks seems to me to really be more of a lifeline to the mom-n-pop enterprises (so to speak given that they pale in comparison to the Tribal venues).

    Questions:

    1. Are we approaching a point where casino gaming options phase out greyhound/horse racing?
    2. Does the addition of other gaming options at tracks constitute subsidizing a dying industry?

    TIA.
     
  2. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    Dog racing is on its way of the dinosaur. It was banned here in the northeast a few years ago.

    Horse racing at the big tracks is alive ,but the smaller tracks are funded by racinos for the most part.
    Painridge Park here in Foxboro was just about dead before being bought out by Penn National gaming.
    On any given race day, there's a few dozen horse players and 20 times that playing the machines.
    Sad, because I used to race a stable of horses there years ago and got out when it was impossible
    to make ends meet.

    Ringling is here in MA right now and there's a big kerfluffle because they brought back the anima acts
    after a couple years without them.
     
  3. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    Sure, they're pretty open about it.
     
  4. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    The local Horseshoe closed their dog track a few years ago.

    There is a local horse track, has live racing a few days a year, but mostly video.
     
  5. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    No, there will always be prestige events in horse racing that will keep some tracks alive. I don't know about greyhound racing to comment on that end, but the closest track to us closed ages ago and doesn't seem missed.

    Yes. And hate on me for saying it, but I think the racing industry feels entitled to that subsidy and really has no rights demand it. Think about it - even though you can't bet until you are of age, there are usually no age restrictions on attending races. My mom and her siblings went to the track all the time as kids. Plus look at the coverage of the Triple Crown - almost everyone will hear something about the Derby tomorrow. They have a chance to cultivate an customer base that no other part of the gaming industry has and they are losing audience anyway. If a racino makes sense in a community go for it. But I hate hearing the track owners demand slots or even worse, the first cut of other casinos profit to prop them up. They aren't doing enough to sell racing to new generations. I've enjoyed trips to the track for charity events but not enough to go to see a race just because. They've gotta figure out how to change that.
     
  6. Camp Rusty

    Camp Rusty VIP Whale

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    Years ago here in the state of Washington there was a section of the Native American Casinos dedicated to horse ( I think) and dog race betting. I remember betting a dog race, but not a horse race.

    They were like little Books or OTB places, I have not seen one in several years, and not sure if they were at all the local casinos or not ? Maybe the laws changed or it wasn't profitable.

    Our local horse racing track, Emerald Downs, just south of Seattle, seems to do a booming business while it is open in the summer months.

    The nearest dog track I know of was in Stateline Idaho, just east of Spokane WA off I-90. I think it closed years ago and now is an outlet mall or something. It was a prime retail location so that may have hastened the track's demise as well as a loss in attendance.

    I wonder if allowing parimutuel betting in the Native casinos would help revive the industry ? Live coverage of a wager-able sport would be great. Sort of a stop gap between nothing and a full sports book ? No idea what the legal hoops would be, probably crazy. Though it might not help attendance at the tracks some sort of vig from participating casinos would keep the track/industry alive.
     
  7. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    At Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, they have a race book.
     
  8. Camp Rusty

    Camp Rusty VIP Whale

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    Interesting.......I wonder if it is a profit center ? Guess if it is there it is generating a profit unless it is a loss leader of some sort.

    My nephew in law and some friends of his own a race horse. He went in on a quarter or a fifth of the initial cost and continues to split the costs, and occasional profits. I think they are in it to hang out at the track and take clients to the races. They are all in sales, I really don't know a ton about how they do it but they seem to enjoy it.

    I have never heard of any amazing wins, but my niece has no problem with it financially so maybe the costs are worth it for the client exposure he gets ?

    Several years ago I was in the Northeast in the Fall and attended a couple county fairs......both had trotter racing and betting at the fairgrounds. No idea if they had races all season or if this was just for the fair. I had never seen a trotter race, was pretty fun. People were lined up pretty deep in lines to wager.

    From my experience it appears racing is a much bigger draw in the East than it is out here in the Northwest, but that may be a simple result of weather and population density. I just never hear anybody talking horse racing here, but always odds and lines on football and baseball.

    I am probably part of the problem, I enjoy sports betting but sort of like craps to me learning horse racing looks hard......track conditions, stuff like if the horse is a "mudder", jockey stats.....and then the bets, exactas, trifectas, boxing bets. Have picked up the racing papers in the Books just to look and the stats are deep, guess I should give it a try.

    Any good sites to learn the basics that anyone knows of ? Niece's family is not nearby or I could bend my NIL's ear.
     
  9. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    Actually, at our local Horseshoe (and I don't know why I didn't mention this before) they are installing a race-only book.
     
  10. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    where you by chance in maine or new hampshire..both had fair meets which i raced many pacers and trotters..you may have even seen one of mine....

    Rochester, Cumberland,Union,Fryeburg,Cumberland,Windsor.......
     
  11. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    I just re-read your post.

    I don't think governments allow gaming to be added to tracks in order to subsidize the track operations, I think it's more the other way around. They want the gaming revenue, and they use saving the track jobs as a hammer against local resistance if it exists.
     
  12. BobLasVegas

    BobLasVegas Low-Roller

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    1) Yes
    2) Yes

    Here in Cleveland, we have a horse race track called Northfield. The trotters. It used to be years ago on
    a Summertime Saturday night it would be jammed. You could hardly find a place to sit.
    They have since recently built a Hard Rock "Rocksino" right next door. Which is a complete slot house.
    No table games or VP. Now on a Saturday night at the track, it is almost empty and the only people
    you see there are 60 to 70 years old or older. Walk a few feet away to the Slot house and it is
    jamming! Door to door people pouring money their hard earned money into the slots!

    At least with the horses, you have a chance to win if you study up a little on it!

    My girlfriend will not go to horse racing event due to her beliefs of animal cruelty.

    So yes, because of these factors, horse and dog racing are vanishing off the face of the earth.
     
  13. deansrobinson

    deansrobinson VIP Whale

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    To be clear...what the Florida legislature has done is provide funds (actual cash from a pool of dollars) to the dog tracks in addition to allowing them to install slots/poker under the guise of 'levelling the playing field', as the tracks do indeed suffer attendance when a tribal venue opens up. This provides a fig leaf of supporting local jobs without necessarily saying that you're 'expanding gaming' (since the track footprint already exists).

    I'm not entirely certain the revenue received from these low-rent operations is necessarily what drives the equation. I do, however, see where politically, one could argue that the subsidy is necessary to preserves jobs and prop up an industry (the horse business in Florida), which is not uncommon.

    Eventually, someone's gonna have to face the fact that Floridians enjoy gaming, and if there's an alternative to the dogs-n-ponies...
     
  14. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    are the jai alai frontons still open?

    used to go after the races from the once great Hialeha races were over..#FLAMINGOS
     
  15. deansrobinson

    deansrobinson VIP Whale

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    Tampa closed down years ago, but there are other venues; Miami & Orlando. How-ev-ah....to 'remain competitive' ;), they jumped on the slots-n-poker bandwagon, so once again we see gaming options that people really want overtaking what we used to be able to get away with.

    One other thing. If you think Las Vegas Boulevard is a great spot for people watching...you ought to have been around for quarter-a-beer night at the dog track. Jam packed with some of the best independent studies of the human condition ever. :eek:
     
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  16. Camp Rusty

    Camp Rusty VIP Whale

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    FRYEBERG !!!!! That was one of them for sure ! I have always enjoyed fairs and community events like 4th of July parades, was lucky to be back there in the Fall for that.

    I was on the back stretch, if it was NASCAR I would have been at turn three. First time I had seen the buggy races except on teevee. Very fun experience. Like little Ben Hur races :):):)

    Are there races at the fairgrounds weekly, or is it just when the fair is in session ?

    That is a pretty cool coincidence that I had been to a race you might have participated in.
     
  17. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    trust me..I've been there and some other tracks venues and have seen just about everything Damon Runyon could have ever written about....LOL

    ever watch the movie Let It Ride with Richard Dryfuss... I bet I've met every character in that movie at some point
    in my degenerate life. and then some
     
  18. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    Racing in Maine is mostly at Scarborough Downs in Saco.
    In the summer the Maine fair circuit last about 8 weeks with racing following the fairs...
    skowhegan,union,windsor,etc and the last fair of the year is Fryeburg...
    really a one horse town with one winding road in and out...but it's a fun week

    years ago Rochester NH had a fair as well with racing. I raced there one year
    and had 11 starts and won 7 races...lost the title by two wins but the other guy had
    twice as many horses and starts... i'll have to scan a winners circle pic or two
    and post them
     
  19. jsunsports

    jsunsports Low-Roller

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    I live about an hour and 45 minutes from Dubuque Iowa they have a dog track there with a casino attached. But just north of Me in wisconsin they had a dog track that went under because of the Indian casinos. And the state would not allow slot machines.
     
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  20. Patripman

    Patripman High-Roller

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    The harness fair circuit is still huge in Pennsylvania. Our small county fair is host to 3 days for qualifying racing, there is no betting but the purses are not bad. What is really drawing in the top drivers and harness horses is the Pennsylvania sires stakes races. The Meadows near Pittsburgh has several $175,000 purse races with others in the $37,500 range currently and in the coming weeks. During Adios week the Meadows is packed and right now they are not doing to bad during the regular racng program.
    Someone mentioned Scarborough Downs I spent 3 months in Maine last summer and stopped to watch a few of the races. It was sad to see how low attendance there was on beautiful days. As for dog tracks West Virginia may have just pounded the last nail in the coffin for their dog tracks in Wheeling and Charleston. The state legislature wants to take away funding support to the industry, that would hurt both tracks, they do draw in decent crowds.
    As a general comment horse racing is not going anywhere soon, yes you have the premier tracks like Belmont, Churchill, Santa Anita etc but the grinder tracks Parx, Charlestown, Penn National etc are the ones that keep all the others afloat. Myself along with many other horse players do not bet many races at the premier tracks, the holds are high and most if not all races will end with chalky results. I still say the best betting tracks in the USA is Parx, The Meadows, Prairie Meadows, Evangeline, Tampa for sure, really any of the supporting tracks/

    P
     
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