Letter to Track & Pools

April 22, 2003

The Editor
Track & Pools
7 North Street

Dear Sir,

Recently, my attention was drawn to an article entitled "The Choice is Ours" written by The Terrible Tout. I found a few of the points which were raised rather interesting.

The first was the discussion on the high takeout rate and the effect that it has on "Joe Punter". Using the Terrible Tout's proposal of reducing the takeout on exotic wagers to 25% and by applying this rate to recompute the total payout on the Pick 9 of March 22, 2003; the winning dividend would have been at least $24,513,613 (not counting the churn-effect) instead of $18,363,818. That is an additional $6,149,795 or $1,537,449 to each winning ticket. Isn't this a significant difference in payout? Isn't this added incentive for persons to wager on Horse Racing? Don't you think that this additional amount would find its way back into Racing in some form or another? It might have been by way of increased betting on the part of the winners, or by the purchase of a horse(s) or it may have found its way into the breeding industry.

The second point of interest to me were the statements, "What has to go out of the proceeds of the bookmakers' levy, is the huge cost of regulation"; and, "The Racing Commission has taken onto itself too many functions that bear no resemblance to regulation, in order to create a rationale for its budget". I also believe that the Racing Commission is more concerned with creating ways to increase its earnings to fund its inefficiencies through hefty fines and fees, than with focusing on its core function which is to properly regulate the Racing promoter who, as the Terrible Tout pointed out, conducts Racing only twice per week.

Finally, it was very interesting to hear someone articulate the view that a change in the manner in which purses are distributed to one which is based on each interested party's relative contribution to Racing, would result in an increased benefit to the suffering Owner, and by extension, to Racing in general. But, who will bell the cat? and more importantly, which party or parties are willing to give up an existing benefit for the betterment of Racing?

Well then, that leaves "Joe Punter" and "Sucker-Owner", doesn't it?

Good Luck!!

Yours truly,

David Miller

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