Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

26 December 2010

Santa Anita Boycott Will be a Failure

These price conscious players are like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster; often spoken about but never seen. The group that is advocating a boycott of Santa Anita is unfortunately not going to make a dent in Santa Anita's business. The small uptick in action generated by a takeout reduction can never account for the loss in revenue generated by the takeout reduction itself.

Before you go off and launch into ad hominem mode I am only speaking from experience; with data collected the hard way. There was a time when I used to play Sam Houston solely for the low takeout (12%) pick 3. If some working class guy in New York is spending his evenings working over Sam Houston there must of been many more players like me. I was shocked to see the trifecta pools (25% takeout) at Sam Houston were 2 to 3 times bigger than the pick 3. The Sam Houston pick 3 was a great value; yet it was completely ignored by the public. The public preferred the fast action of the trifecta even if the cost was over 100% more. This was not the only failure of low takeout wagers offered by racetracks to entice players to look at their tracks. The low takeout pick 4 at Ellis was failure. The low takeout offered at Laurel last year was unfortunatly a failure too. This boycott of Santa Anita is destined to be an inadequate effort.

The vast majority of horseplayers are expressing a compulsive vice when they visit the windows; tracks make money by feeding this vice. There is no reason for track management keep hitting their heads against the wall expecting a different result chasing a nonexistent demographic of price conscious players. The demographic is too small to matter. If you want to reach the price conscious crowd publish some coupons in the Sunday paper. Tracks make money by having a large horse population and carding big fields.


gib. said...

"The vast majority of horseplayers are expressing a compulsive vice when they visit the windows; tracks make money by feeding this vice." - should be edited to read, The vast majority of horseplayers are expressing a complusion when they visit the windows; tracks make money by feeding this compulsion, to protect my dignity.

Your sweet and simple explaination of the full hardy attempt to boycott Santa Anita is the best that I've read on the subject.

Typically an eastcoast player, I'm going to do some gambling on the new dirt to "protest the protest."

Cangamble said...

It looks like HANA has done a very bad job educating some people.
Results from takeout hikes and drops take a long time usually.
The Laurel experiment was too short to figure anything out. And many ADWs chose not to take them.
The same with the Ellis Park experiment.
If you want to really do research, check out Calder versus Tampa Bay over the last 6 or 7 years. Tampa has gradually dropped takeout while Calder raised it.
Regardless of people actually boycotting, a takeout hike slowly makes people last less longer, and it kills them off.
We'll see if the boycott works though. I think HANA has been able to educate many people about takeout.
As for price sensitive players, it is estimated at least 20% of handle comes from true price sensitive players today. The numbers of them might be small, but they bet a heck of a lot.

LetItRideMike said...

The longest shot on the board is a horseplayer saying "I can do so much more to improve my betting discipline and money management and I have alot more I can do to improve my skills picking winners" instead of whining about the takeout going up 2%.

Cangamble said...

Mike, it is actually a blended 12.5% increase to exotic players. Stop with the 2% propaganda. If you bet $100,000 a year in exotics, you now have to overcome another approximately $2,500 in takeout added to the already high $20,500 Horseplayers were already paying. Too much for me. Bye California.

Oh, and "a lot" is two words not one:)

Anonymous said...

it will work. these are different times.
anyhow , it doesn't really matter.
california is down 30%in handle over the last 2 years and if it weren't for a pick 6 carryover every 2nd day, it would be worse

The_Knight_Sky said...

I find it amusing that Power Cap finds a correlation between this concerted boycott of a major signal Santa Anita and the lowering of multi-race wagers for a (very brief) period of time at lesser racetracks.

Anonymous said...

I am not an expert on the subject, but all of the serious players I know play the wagers and the tracks that they do the best at. A cashed ticket with a higher takeout has more value than an uncashed ticket that would have had a lower takeout. No?

Anonymous said...

Tough day for SA today that's for sure. It seems more than a few players said they were not going to feed the trough any longer. Good for them.

gib. said...

I don't have any idea what the takeout cost me Sunday at Santa Anita, but it was a fun race card.

I'll send them some more action Monday.

Anonymous said...

Fight the Power!


LetItRideMike said...

Ya'll missed out on one juicy winner after another. That tracks bias was a sharp handicappers dream. 9-1 on that horse in the nitecap? 5-1 on Smiling Tiger and 7-2 on Twirling Candy with a total speed bias?? Way to save 2% and cost yourself 100%, wiseguys! lol!!

Anonymous said...

Finally, somebody who fancies himself something of a union handicapper/horseplayer who at the same time gets it!!

Nobody worth talking about cares about the mutuel take. In fact, those who profess to care the most about mutuel take tend to be those who are already fleecing the system with rebates or the like. (translation: you are a problem, and as such can never be the solution)

And of course Ellis Park and Sam Houston pick-3's are/were failures, and it isn't because of the "fast action" of the trifecta. Instead it is because to reduce the takeout on a pick-3 or a pick-4 wager is nothing more than an advertising gimmick.

Would people rush to grocery stores if grocery stores moved the milk from the very back of the store to a spot near the front of the same stores? I can see it now: "We at Kroger are moving the milk from the back wall adjacent to aisle 9 to the front of aisle 2 to give you, the consumer, a big break. That's right, we're chopping the amount of walking you'll do by (some small pittance of a percentage)".

Unionized horseplayer idiots have seemed the only morons who fell hook, line and sinker for this B.S.!!

The difference to the steady customer between Ellis pick-4's at 24% and Ellis pick-4's at 14% is effectively nothing.

If you're going to hit a pick-4 with four $10.00 winners for two bucks, it should pay $1875 on average. Your savings with the handle reduction was twenty cents!!!

Compare that to a four-horse win parlay using the same winners. Your return is $1250 (for $2) and you funnelled $53.04 to takeout (using 17%).

The reason the pick-4 paid so well relative to the parlay was the handle contribution of just 48 cents vs. that of $53 on a parlay!!!

Playing the pick-4 when the bet was introduced was a great idea. Being concerned with an extra 20 cents on top of 52.56 is the mark of a fool!

Now wake up, you nitwits!!!

PS - Now I've gotta go and check the handle data from Hialeah. Christ, I'm guessing Cangamble is the only fool in the grandstand there these days.

Anonymous said...

Oh jezzuz, Hialeah had a pick-3 pool of $197 on Sunday. I'm sure Can Gamble was holding the only winning ticket @ $173.30.

Then I bet he let it all ride on the pick-4 where a $606 net pool paid out $533.20 on his only winning ticket.

Geez, the highest exotics pool on yesterday's Hialeah card was $5027.

They could have raised the mutuel take by 10% across the board and challenged those figures.

Hope the travel isn't too harsh when Can Gamble trudges to the airport with his tail between his legs enroute from Florida back to little league ball in the great white north.

Sal Carcia said...

When all the players finally disappear, we can alway wonder what happened to the addicted ones.

Cangamble said...

It is only going to get worse for California.
The comments here make me chuckle. It is the true nitwit who thinks takeout doesn't matter. Just a lot of chest beaters who have absolutely no clue.

Oh, and LIRM, since 99% of Horseplayers lose money in the long run, one race doesn't do much for anyone. For all the people that cash, there are many who don't cash on an individual race. Bottom line, people will not last as long betting on California races as they did before.

It is best for the future of the game to take a stand and stop playing California until the takeout hike is rescinded....that is if you care about the future of horse racing.

I would feel dirty right now if I made a bet on a California race. I don't have the time to take the 4 hour shower I would need after I made the bet.

Brian Russell said...

This was posted earlier:

If you're going to hit a pick-4 with four $10.00 winners for two bucks, it should pay $1875 on average. Your savings with the handle reduction was twenty cents!!!

You sir, are an idiot. The effect of the takout is not on your bet, it is on your winnings. Twents cents my a**.

Anonymous said...

SA already off by, what, 30%?


Anonymous said...

Looks like somebody should tell Brian Russell that the only people who get his "winnings" are those who beat the odds and speared the 4 consecutive winners.

The equation above is generally correct, and the "effect of the takeout" was already factored in, as the difference between a $2 parlay payout and the stated pick-4 return.