09/20/2009 4:48PM

To exchange or not?

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Mike writes, "Here's something you maybe could sound off on. I'd love to hear your opinion on betting exchanges."

Rule No. 1 for any business: The customer is always right.
Rule No. 2: The customer is never wrong.
The rules most often violated by racetracks: see No. 1 and No. 2.
The simple fact is that horseplayers have spoken, and loudly. Betfair's record in the UK proves that betting exchanges are wildly popular, and the stagnant U.S. horse wagering menu is in dire need of something new, exciting and interesting.
Instead of focusing on the challenges our system would face in incorporatng betting exchanges, industry leaders need to have the foresight and proactivity to figure out a way to make it happen. Plainly stated, they need to listen to their customers.
Horse racing has lost an absurd percentage of gambling market share to casinos. Now exchange betting gives the sport a potential gift that could at least partially reverse that exodus.
Figure out a way to make it work for the long-term best interests of everyone involved. It isn't whether racing can afford to embrace the technology. They can't afford not to.