The Savior of Racing ?

For years I’ve been hearing tracks talk about what they need to survive. Not just to make a few more bucks, but survive. – I’m hearing of local tracks laying off long-time employees, cutting back to the bare bones and just limping along. But there may be a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not a train coming the other way.

I was reading this morning and it wasn’t about ponies and which races to bet. It was about sports wagering. – The Thoroughbred Daily News; The Delaware Lottery Commission is reporting that $7 million was wagered on sports at the state’s three racetracks from June 5 through June 24 and that the total revenue from the sports wagering was $1,000,247.

That’s not too bad if you ask me. I know it all doesn’t go into the track bank account, but it may be the savior we’ve been looking for. I’me sure the horsemen would have no beef with the new gambling. “After the state and the companies operating the sports books took their share, $352,256 was left over. Delaware Park, which easily out-handled both harness tracks, took in $263,924 in revenue and $62,715 was added to the purse account. There were 50,934 individual wagers made during the 20-day period at Delaware.”

Tracks in the Kentucky / Ohio area are facing some intense competition. – From my front door, there are two Thoroughbred tracks which offer live and simulcast wagering, two harness tracks that offer the same and three full fledged casinos. These places of gambling are all less than one hour from my house. – Instant Racing is all the rage in Southern Kentucky at Kentucky Downs. – The place is gorgeous and has the only undulating European turf course in the nation. In addition, they have offered charitable gaming bingo and were one of the largest sellers of lottery products in the state. – If you’re not familiar with the location it is right on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee.

I don’t think Tennessee even has a lottery. – There is no competition and they are 30 minutes away from Nashville. – They are surrounded by the Lucky Lotto store, Kentucky State Line Bingo and Steve’s Pawn Shop. – There’s not a dig at the gem of Kentucky gambling as they have gone after the brass ring and found them all. They offer a glitzy state-of-the-art facility, great food, entertainment and some of the best racing in the country. – They have a feel of a county fair meeting Las Vegas. Kentucky Downs has done nothing wrong and always striving to grow and give players a one-of-a-kind experience.

Racing in my area doesn’t need watered down video lottery games as a full-fledged casino is 12 miles away. – It’s too late for that boat, it’s on the bottom of the sea. – I think the state of Kentucky can take a real cue from Delaware on sports gambling. I know it’s going to take some time, but that’s the process. We better start now so we can save Kentucky jobs, save racing in the form of bigger purses and allow tracks to have a real form of growing gambling products. – How many people do you know make a bet on the big game? – Or, how many like to bet the local teams playing ball tonight? – Plenty……