Brother, Can You Spare $2.3 Million?

by Ed Meyer

posted on October 16, 2010 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

I just read an article by H.A.N.A…. They are a group of highly intelligent players who bring some innovative ideas, and vocalize the needs of the player. But, this time I am disagreeing with the latest blog.

For the uncashed tickets in Kentucky, the total of $2.3 million in cash goes to the backstretch workers. If you doubt they need any monies, go ahead and take a ride back there. They are cold, and go without clothing many months. There are kids, and medical needs. English lessons, and many programs to allow these hardworking folks to survive. So, if the money does go to the backside, please let it go right now without delay.

Now, here is an idea… I worked at a track where we had a tracking system. The player’s I.D. was on the ticket (or lost ticket) and could be stopped in the tote system computer. The player would be contacted, and they could come out to the track, and get what is rightfully theirs. No bonanza, and no jackpot wager. It is their money, and allow them to do whatever they wish.

So, the track gave back the money to the rightful owner, and Andy Beyer wrote a glowing article in the Washington Post. I guess this was stamping the idea as customer-friendly. It worked, and so can this plan…..

Let’s keep the ticket policy in place. If it goes a year, then send it back to folks who can use this funding. If your track does not have a tracking system, please let me help you. THEY CAN IMPLEMENT A FREE TRACKING SYSTEM ASSIGNING A PLAYER A NUMBER. It won’t be as good as a rewards card, but it can work. All tote systems have this ability, and don’t take no for an answer. You are showing the track that you are a loyal customer who wants to be rewarded, and this can be a safeguard against loss. Sounding good yet?

H.A.N.A  is right. The players never get a break, but on the other hand., neither do the backstretch folks. I see a common answer, and maybe both will win. I would also install a few kiosks where change can be tossed, or you can leave the extra coins with your clerk that goes into an account for the backstretch workers.

We need to recognize the players, but we need to take care of folks who could use it the most. The tracks are overtaxed, and things are tough. Just take this as an idea, or even better, have H.A.N.A  negotiate with tracks to use 50% of the money from uncashed tickets, and the tracks can match it with the little pennies and nickles all year long known as breakage. Trust me, there are a thousand ideas, and let’s not get too greedy.