What’s the Better Bet: Horses or Sports?
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, September 12, 2014---Our friends next door in the Garden State New have been making wagering news of late.
What with New Jersey’s fiscal crisis and recent credit downgrade, Governor Chris Christie, coincidentally or not, has decided to roll the dice—those that remain—on sports betting.
Legalizing marijuana would have been far more profitable and probably would have a better chance to be ignored when it comes to the enforcement of federal law.
But the sports leagues lobby is very strong and they are against legalized gambling. The leagues cite the “integrity of the competition” and they correctly figure that the courts will favor the power of corporations over the power to the people.
"Ignoring federal law, rather than working to reform federal standards, is counter to our democratic traditions and inconsistent with the Constitutional values,” Christie wrote when he vetoed proposed sports gambling legislation.
Of course, he’s really no different from most pols. Doesn’t it always work like this? You’re for something until you’re against it but now you’re for it again.
We’re sure legislators from all over the U.S. are shocked to learn there’s gambling going on in the sports world. The hypocrisy from all levels of government to the leagues themselves is as astounding as it is predictable.
For about a month, my local radio sports station, WOFX-980 AM, has been running ads about fantasy football, to the effect that “you don’t have to wait until season’s end to see if you won because there’s a new cash contest every week.”
I guess the authorities figure it’s just like betting on the horses, only with people.
We’re Not Guests, We’re Customers
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, September 8, 2014--I’m a Bill Shanklin fan and have been for some time. A creative Lexington-based marketer, some of the more inventive ideas I have encountered in this business seems to have originated with him.
This time, however, I think he missed the mark. Oh, he’s correct when he posits that racing needs to cultivate the horseplayer but, if takeout is the issue, his focus is on the wrong type of player.
His idea of the ideal target, the whale, has no incentive to see takeout lowered since the high rates in place ultimately fuel his rebates.
If takeouts were lowered across the board, increased participation would affect the nigh-volume bettor in a more meaningful way because “square money” would be back in play.
Fresh betting capital would allow the deep-pocketed player to make up for smaller rebates because his expertise and bankroll leverage could buy more big-payout pools, especially fueled by carryovers.
Lower takeout, in addition to keeping active players liquid longer, would give way to marketing campaigns that attract new bettors who don’t mind mixing a little intellect with their action.
But until the current customer base is maintained and new ones are created, added liquidity won’t happen, and whales will begin to cannibalize each other, a process already underway.
As this trend continues and grows, when the whale’s perceived edge becomes smaller and smaller, they’ll move on to the next big gambling scheme.