Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ten Days at 10 Percent

In a bold move, the Maryland Jockey Club has announced “Ten Days at 10 Percent—Racing’s Best Bet.” During the Laurel Park summer meet (August 10-23), the takeout will be cut almost in half.

“We want to get people focused on the Maryland product during a very competitive period,” said Maryland Jockey Club President Lou Raffetto. “We hear a lot of talk about what reduced takeout can do for business and this seemed like the perfect time to experiment with the concept.”

The takeout will be 10 percent on all bets on all live races conducted at Laurel, plus the legislated percentage to be allocated to the Maryland Million Fund, resulting in a blended rate of approximately 11.4 percent.

The lower takeout is an even better deal on the trifecta, superfecta and Pick 6, for which the standard takeout rate would have been 25.75 percent. As a result, payoffs on these wagers will be 20 percent greater.

Now the big questions......Will this help increase the handle at Laurel? Will they continue this through Timonium, Laurel Winter, and Pimlico Spring meets? Will they still try to attract horse betters if a slot machine bill passes early next year?

Final question.......Will the (assumed) increase in wagers make up for the lost revenue?

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