FROM The Thoroughbred Idea Foundation, an interesting report:
Do stakeholders in American Thoroughbred racing really understand the state of the business as it relates to wagering?
Do the horsepeople’s representative groups, HBPAs and THAs, that have a hand in approving contracts to permit wagers on their races, understand it?
Do the boards of major industry organizations?
Does Kentucky, whose economy is so intricately tied to the proliferation of Thoroughbred racing?
If so, there is no conceivable way that our sport would find itself in the position it does, as outlined in this special report.
As the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation (TIF) approaches the conclusion of its second year of advocacy, our interactions with many stakeholder groups within the sport suggest a widespread lack of awareness about the economic fundamentals that drive wagering – a major source of revenue to fund purses and keep racing sustainable.
We have read, as you too surely, reports of positive trends in handle from some tracks during the pandemic. We have read pleas for coverage of positive stories associated with the sport, a natural reaction in a world that doles out negativity aplenty.
This TIF update is our attempt to enlighten readers to the nature of the horse race wagering landscape. Many people involved in horse racing – from owners and breeders to trainers and jockeys, farriers, farm workers and managers, veterinarians, backstretch workers and suppliers pay no attention to what is happening on the gambling side of the business.
While gambling is a major source of their funding, via prize money, many do not make the connection between betting and their livelihoods. But developments on the wagering side of the business have the potential to be detrimental to stakeholders over the long term and they should know what is happening, and what one can infer is happening from behavior in some pools.
This report serves as a request to be aware of the realities facing the sport, while questioning long-accepted business practices which have resulted in the perpetual disadvantaging of some customers. There are long-term effects of these actions, and they will yield pain to the greater racing business if action is not taken to correct course.