08/17/2014 11:49AM

Letter to the editor: Give tracks takeout flexibility


The recent opinion piece by Andrew Beyer on low-takeout pick fives makes you think: How about letting racetracks control the most important part of their business, the wagering?   

Even within the confines of simulcasting agreements and government-mandated takeout percentages, they should be allowed to vary takeout, just like a store would run a sale for a given day. Or how about a specific race? How about the New York Racing Association offering “no NYRA trifecta takeout Thursdays?”

The ideas are limitless. But get the government, whether commissions or legislatures, out of the decision. Or maybe allow racetracks to treat the oversight takeouts as a maximum allowed, with the tracks free to go lower, on any schedule they choose.

Imagine if Wal-Mart or any department store had to go to the state to get pricing or sale pricing approved. That would kill their business. Wagering is the business of racetracks. They need more control of their own fate. They need to react quickly to market forces.

I bet you have many better (no pun intended) ideas of what they could offer one time or ongoing that the customer would love. Think about it.

Ray Davis