Holiday Wishes

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 24, 2008 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

As we near the kick-off of the Holiday Season, we all have a wish list of our own. I know, we all want more winners. But here is a list compiled by your own Horstradamus for the upcoming New Year.

My thoughts are prepared as we come upon 2009. Here are some wishes that we all could use:

  1. I wish for a safer game of racing. Rid our game of performance enhancing drugs, and keep our runners around for a bit longer. They may not run as fast, but the game will be safer.
  2. I wish for the tracks to recognize the true stars of the sport. The players. They need to be recognized. A marketing budget will not go broke noticing the punters who day-in and day-out keep the lights on. Let’s do more one-on-one time with listening to what they have to say. Heck, we may even learn something. It is easier to retain current customers than to grow new players. I suggest focus groups, luncheons, special discounts and just taking the time to hear them out.
  3. I wish for this ADW nightmare to be over. Plain and simple. Lets take a step back and see how many jobs, families, and taxes will suffer from this Texas standoff. If you are wondering who has hurt the worse, it is the players….
  4. I wish for a cross-promotion of our sport like the NFL, NBA, and MLB. We need to pull our resources and hang together. If we do not hang together, we will all hang separately….
  5. I wish for a percentage of all revenue to be applied to the backstretch workers at ALL tracks. If you only knew how many depend on Chaplaincy programs to survive, you would understand. They work so very hard at keeping the runners ready. We need to help out wherever we can.
  6. I wish that all tracks would share in the casino or racing wealth. If we all received a piece of the money, the game would not be falling apart. It is a domino theory at best. When you see a track fall, it is not a good sign to anyone. It means you could be next. We are losing tracks to be sold off as condos and strip malls. By allocating monies from states that have alternative gaming to share with all tracks, this would ensure a survival of the game versus a short term benefit for one track, or one state. I know this is a long shot at best, but we must recognize that by sharing monies, we ensure our game will compete and prosper.
  7. I wish for new players to take an interest in the game your Grandpa did so many years ago. Be sure to bring a new friend, take along a work associate or bring your kid along to see the majesty of the sport of kings. There is nothing more exciting than watching racing. How many people shout for two-minutes straight at the blackjack table?

Wishes can come true. But, in fact, everything you have read can be achieved if we put our differences aside and pass on the torch.¬† This is a storied piece of history. We are the guardians who will see it to the next generation. Make it more than a wish list year. Stay in contact with legislators, local track management, and stay informed. Let’s see if 2009 can make wishes come true.