11/15/2016 1:53PM

Charles Town cutting pick 4 takeout to 15 percent


Charles Town Races in West Virginia will cut its takeout on its two daily pick 4 wagers to 15 percent, effective with its first live racing card in December, the track announced on Tuesday.

The track received approval to cut the takeout from the West Virginia Racing Commission on Tuesday morning after getting sign-off on the plan from local horsemen. Prior to the cut, the takeout on the pick 4 was 22 percent.

The cut will go into effect on Dec. 1, the track said.

This is the second time that Charles Town has cut takeout in the past five years. In 2011, the track reduced the takeout on its trifecta, superfecta, pick 3, and pick 4 pools from 25 percent to 22 percent. In that year, Charles Town recorded a 14.6 percent jump in all-sources betting, which was followed by a 5 percent jump in 2012. Since then, however, per-race wagering figures have remained essentially level.

Erich Zimny, the track’s vice president of racing operation, said that the track intends to gather data from the latest cut to examine the effect of a reduction in takeout.

“It’s certainly a calculated business decision in terms of the handle benefit we think it could provide, but we also wanted to engage in some information gathering regarding price sensitivity,” Zimny said.

Many tracks across the country have targeted pick 4 and pick 5 wagers for takeout cuts. Charles Town said its new takeout will be the fifth lowest in the country for the pick 4 bet.