|| Boycott Churchill Downs and Kentucky Derby
|As Jeff so well put it, they raised takeout against all logic. They will never get it nor will the fawning media who reports with a straight face how this will "increase Churchill revevnues". They report this as fact, do not challenge it in the slightest even though we all know, the actual customer, that will have the opposite effect. I know everyone bets the Derby and my call for a Boycott for Derby will fall on deaf ears since so many love the Triple Crown Series and will justify betting it in their own mind, but enough is enough. I am not sending them one dime again ever.|
|I'm not betting on Churchill, including the Derby. I'll play in contests, and maybe have a party since I usually play it low-key since I'm focused on betting at least several thousand dollars. I know my betting won't make an impact, but if enough people say screw them, they'll feel some pain.|
And I don't think they'll rescind the increase. Much like CA they've just drawn a line in the sand and they'll look like idiots if they turn it back. But, I think it'll help with other tracks who are thinking of raising takeout.
|Sequence of events for Takeout Increases in California:|
1. On track handle at Los Al minus 27 percent for the first 6 months immediately following their takeout increase in 2010 vs. the same 6 month time period for the previous year. Despite concrete evidence of this the CHRB voted unanimously to make the takeout increase at Los Al permanent.
2. In 2010, California track management, horsemen, and the CHRB lobbied the Legislature and Governor's Office for SB1072 a bill mandating a takeout increase for California's thoroughbred tracks - Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, Del Mar, Golden Gate, and CARF (the Cal Fairs circuit.)
3. All sources handle at Santa Anita down a similar number to Los Al for the first few months immediately following their takeout increase in the early part of 2011.
4. California track management (Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, Del Mar) begging horseplayers to attend meetings to talk about ways to stop the bleeding when it became apparent their takeout increase was a mistake.
5. The success of the 14% takeout pick 5 in California (which was only put in because players were boycotting California tracks in reaction to the takeout increase.)
I received two phone calls yesterday. The first was from a player who lives in KY who also owns horses. He wanted to give me a heads up that Churchill top management had met with the KY Horse Racing Board and had obtained approval for a takeout increase.
The second call was from the reporter who interviewed me for the story that ran yesterday in the Courier Journal.
I'm not sure what I find more disconcerting:
A. The fact that top management at Churchill decided to go the takeout increase route despite being fully aware of events in California arising from the takeout increase there.
B. The fact that the heads of horsemen's alphabet groups everywhere think takeout increases are a good idea.
Either way I know what my reaction is.
I've decided there are plenty of other tracks to bet this summer whose wagering menus offer more value than Churchill.
I've decided Churchill does not deserve one penny of my business.
Effective immediately, Churchill can kiss my ass. I'm not going to bet one penny on races held at ANY CDI property this summer (Churchill, Arlington, Calder, etc.)
~Edited by: jeff on: 4/11/2014 at: 5:09:27 PM~
~Edited by: jeff on: 5/19/2014 at: 5:51:37 PM~
|FYI, I see the Churchill takeout increase as an opportunity for non CDI tracks.|
A few minutes ago I found an email with a link to the following Tweet in my inbox:
"@santaanitapark prez Tom Ludt says rolling doubles, with low 18 percent takeout, will return to the track when summer meet begins April 25."--end quote
I applaud them for this decision.
|Effective immediately I am going to continue to download all|
files but when it comes time to load tracks for calculating the
races all CDI properties will not be included in my calculate races.
this is shameful how long are we going to keep betting into this
nonsense...? Arlington-Churchill-Calder-Fairgrounds Let's see if we can negatively impact their results.................Please join those of us that are going to fight back...
|Closed my account with TwinSpires- going elsewhere.|
|One positive out of this, is that this is the most I've seen players all over the place band together and say screw CDI. On twitter, facebook, here, paceadvantage, etc., everyone is closing twinspires accounts, saying they won't play, etc. I'm fine with losing money in the short term(Churchill is a profitable track for me) if it leads to long-term growth.|
|CHDN 2013 Executive Compensation up more than 2.40% vs. previous year:|
CHDN more than doubling total compensation packages for executives making bonehead decision to stick players with a takeout hike...
If that doesn't make you want to barf (or boycott all CDI track signals) you might want to check yourself for a pulse.
|Glad to see the reaction across the forums. Enough|
|Thanks for all the information you guys. I will definitely join the Boycott and probably save some money trying to catch a few longshots.|
|I will also be boycotting Churchill Downs this year.|
|Does anyone know of an alternative to Twinspires for a Pennsylvania resident.|
I would like to move my account just on principle.
I feel your pain too, being a NY resident ...
It seems that each state are getting too petty with hosreplayers and are starting to squeeze whatever advantage we're getting.
I feel that any site that is within the US will have sanctions against all of us.
To avoid this , it looks like an offshore betting account is going to be more attractive.
I'm sure people are going to cringe about that.
I belong to a big sports community called Covers.com.
They have a list of recommended Sports Books here http://www.covers.com/WhereToPlay/Sportsbooks
I'm looking at 5DIMES ...
You get between 3-5 % rewards depends what track..
You also get an extra 10% on all winning bets!!! (this shocked me)
So, its up to you....and if anybody is playing with an offshore a/c, maybe they can chime in
You can also do a search on Google
~Edited by: Caveat on: 4/19/2014 at: 7:27:06 AM~
~Edited by: Caveat on: 4/19/2014 at: 7:34:35 AM~
~Edited by: Caveat on: 4/19/2014 at: 12:58:29 PM~
|The takeout was the last straw for me regarding CDI. No plans to bet any of their tracks in the future. Good riddance!|
|Horseplayers Boycott Churchill Downs, citing takeout increase, massive jump in key executive compensation at CHDN:|
"We at Playersboycott.org think the actions of Key Executives at CHDN are egregious.--end quote
• I submit to you the idea that Key Executives at CHDN deciding to hit you the horseplayer with a takeout increase and suggesting to the press there was no other option while at the same time seeing their compensation increase by more than double the amount they say the takeout hike will raise is unconscionable.
• I submit to you the idea that horsemen and track execs at other tracks are waiting on the sidelines to see what you do next.
• I submit to you the idea that you as horseplayers are consumers and that as consumers you have a very big say in all of this.
• I submit to you the idea that every handle dollar spent - not just at Churchill Downs - but every dollar spent at a CHDN owned track (Calder, Arlington, Fairgrounds) - and that every dollar bet through CHDN owned ADW Twinspires.com - and that every dollar spent on data or reports from CHDN owned data provider Brisnet.com is a vote for higher takeout.
• There are plenty of other tracks to bet this summer whose wagering menus offer more value than Churchill.
• I've decided CHDN does not deserve one penny of my business. Effective immediately, I'll not bet one penny on races held at ANY CHDN track this summer (Churchill, Arlington, Calder, etc.) Further, I'll not bet one penny this summer through CHDN owned ADW Twinspires.com. Further, I refuse to spend even one penny downloading data or reports from CHDN owned data provider Brisnet.com.
|Playersboycott.org Announces Boycott of Churchill Downs:|
"Playersboycott.org Announces Boycott of Churchill Downs--end quote
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (April 25, 2014. San Diego, CA)
Playersboycott.org has announced that a horseplayer boycott of Churchill Downs is underway, citing an increase in takeout coupled with a massive jump in compensation for Key Executives at CHDN as reasons for the boycott.
"Key Executives at CHDN decided to hit horseplayers with a takeout increase," Playersboycott.org spokesman Jeff Platt said. "They suggested to the press an extra $8 million could be raised for purses if they multiply last year's handle numbers by this year's higher takeout rates. But it never works out that way. Takeout and handle share an elastic relationship. Horseplayers are price sensitive. Higher takeout translates to lower handle and lower purses."
Platt cited takeout increases in California as an example. "For the first 6 months immediately following the takeout increase at Los Alamitos in 2009 their on track handle was down 27 percent. Horseplayers boycotted Santa Anita and Golden Gate in the early months of 2011 as a result of takeout increases there. Handle dropped significantly enough that track management and horsemen invited us to the table to talk about ways to stop the bleeding. As a result of those talks Hollywood Park put in a 14% takeout pick5 and Del Mar began adding $50k in seed money to their pick6 pools on non carryover Sundays. Beginning this Saturday April 26, 2014 Santa Anita will be offering rolling doubles at 18%. None of this would have happened if higher takeout was the answer."
"But that's not the worst part," Platt said. "According to Morningstar, compensation for Key Executives at CHDN jumped from $8.20 million in 2012 to $27.92 million in 2013. On the one hand CHDN is suggesting to the press the only way to raise $8 million for purses is to hit horseplayers with a takeout increase. While on the other hand, the same executives who decided on higher takeout saw their total compensation jump by more than double the amount they hope to take from horseplayers. In my opinion that's egregious."
Beginning Saturday April 26, 2014: Takeout for WPS wagers at Churchill Downs will be 17.50%. (An increase of 9.375% vs. last year's takeout rate of 16.00%.) Takeout for all EXOTIC wagers at Churchill Downs will be 22.00%. (An increase of 15.79% vs. last year's takeout rate of 19.00%.)
• Playersboycott.org is asking horseplayers to consider the idea that horseplayers are consumers and that every handle dollar bet not just at Churchill Downs, but at CHDN owned tracks Arlington Park, Calder, and Fairgrounds, along with every handle dollar bet through CHDN owned ADW Twinspires.com, and every dollar spent downloading data and reports from CHDN owned data provider Brisnet.com is a vote for higher takeout everywhere.
• Playersboycott.org also wants horseplayers to know there will be plenty of tracks running this summer whose wagering menus offer better value than Churchill and that players have other options when it comes to choice of ADWs and data providers. "
|Playersboycott.org Press Release picked up by the NY Daily News...|
Horse players looking to boycott Churchill Downs:
"Churchill Downs’ opens its doors tonight for their spring-summer meeting, highlighted by the May 3 Kentucky Derby, but some horseplayers will keep their wallets shut tight when it comes to betting on the famous track.--end quote
Playersboycott.org has announced that a horseplayer boycott of Churchill Downs starting tonight for Churchill’s opening day card, citing an increase in takeout coupled with a massive jump in compensation for executives at Churchill Downs Inc. (CHDN), as reasons for the boycott."
|PlayersBoycott.org Twitter Feed - Mon May 12, 2014:|
"CD handle - Thursday down 46%, Friday down 29%, Saturday down 39% and Sunday down 25% when compared to 2013. #boycottaction"--end quote
The Horseplayers are sticking to their guns.
|Churchill Handle Update:|
"Do the above numbers suggest everyday horseplayers are staying away?"--end quote
~Edited by: jeff on: 5/15/2014 at: 12:41:11 PM~
Officials will just blame the economy for everything that goes wrong here..
Is it possible to get a comparison going..
Like with Belmont that just opened...
Can show all of us if the Boycott is really there..
|It took some work - but I ran it....|
Belmont for this past (Mother's Day) weekend in 2014 vs. the same (Mother's Day) weekend in 2013.
BEL Mother's Day Weekend 2014:
BEL Mother's Day Weekend 2013:
With the same number of races and 22 fewer runners, Belmont was down just 2.4% Mother's Day Weekend 2014 vs. the same Mother's Day weekend in 2013.
It's not even close.
On a straight handle this year vs. handle last year basis, Churchill was down 32.5% 2014 vs. 2013 over the same Mother's Day Weekend.
On a handle per race basis, Churchill was down 25.7% 2014 vs. 2013 over the same Mother's Day Weekend.
It's not just the takeout. Churchill has had almost 1 fewer horse per race this year than last.
And they have certainly created their share of publicity train wrecks.
First they announced the takeout increase.
Then there was the Rick Porter of Fox Hill Farm thing - followed by the Ron Turcotte thing - followed more recently by the Wes Welker thing.
Mixed in there was the Fairgrounds slash Louisiana Legislature thing.
They were down 23% again today. Counting yesterday that makes nine straight regular card race days where their handle is down double digits.
Nine straight days.
The more closely I look at the numbers for those nine days in light of the 500 or so new unique email addresses voluntarily given to us by players who told us they wanted to boycott...
The more I have to consider the possibility that players actually might be sending Churchill a message by withholding money from the pools.
Not ready to say that's what's happening yet.
But something is causing the trend.
And when I look at the takeout increase - and the way CDI has been hiking signal fees every freaking time a contract comes up for renewal...
I can't help but think: "Karma's a bitch, Isn't it"
~Edited by: jeff on: 5/17/2014 at: 1:01:01 AM~
The proofs is in the pudding....
Like you said..."Not even close"
Like to hear managements comments now
|They're too busy trying to repair the damage from the comments from the owner's of CC following his Preakness win!! CDI sure knows how to make enemies!!|
by BILL DWYRE
May 17, 2014, 8:10 PM
California Chrome co-owner rips Churchill Downs:
"This isn't the first hint of a problem at the Twin Spires race place. There is Internet discussion about increased takeout by the track that limits gamblers' profits. Loosely organized boycotts by gamblers seem to be finding traction."--end quote
Yes, there has been a lot of "Internet" chat on Churchill Downs..
Has there been any major articles in big publications?
Did/Will The Daily Racing Form comment on it?
|Covered by DRF? |
Didn't happen in 2010 when on track handle at Los Al fell 27% during the first six months of the takeout increase there.
Didn't happen in 2011 when handle at Santa Anita and Golden Gate fell close to $150 million during the first few months of the takeout increase there.
DRF won't cover it at Churchill either -- even if the trend continues and total drop in handle reaches $50 million by meet's end.
I guess "reporters" -- and I put that word in quotes -- like their press passes and free admission too much to risk pissing off track management and prominent horsemen.
The LA TIMES mentioning the boycott is huge though.
No reporter enjoys being "scooped."
Because the LA TIMES mentioned the boycott -- at the very least -- reporters from other news outfits now have to look at Churchill numbers and see if there's anything there.
~Edited by: jeff on: 6/2/2014 at: 12:15:02 AM~
Well, California had their share of losses..
Bay Meadows and Hollywood Park since 2008
So, they should have a say about the sport..
But what Churchill is doing is unethical and downright disrespectful to everyone and the sport.
Making money and stepping on people while doing it!!
Maybe there should be a Racing Commissioner like they have with the big boy sports NFL,MLB,NBA ...
What each state does and is doing will destroy the sport all together
|Some interesting numbers from the past two weekends...|
Handle Update MAY 18, 2014 -
PLAYERSBOYCOTT.org reports boycott gaining traction, handle down sharply at Churchill and Arlington, stable at Belmont despite a bigger drop in .avg field size than both Churchill and Arlington, and handle up slightly at Pimlico.
"Arlington, Mother's Day Weekend 2013 vs. Mother's Day Weekend 2014: --end quote
Total handle and avg. handle per race DOWN -27.6%
Note: Belmont down just 2.4% for the same weekend despite a larger drop in avg field size.
Churchill, Mother's Day Weekend 2013 vs. Mother's Day Weekend 2014:
Total handle DOWN 32.5% and avg. handle per race DOWN 25.7%.
Note: Belmont down just 2.4% for the same weekend despite a larger drop in avg field size. "
|Handle Update June 1, 2014:|
Click the link to see lots of red numbers.
|National handle ticks up in May: - June 4, 2014|
"Wagering on U.S. races rose slightly in May compared to the same month last year, up 1 percent, but the uptick was likely due to an even larger increase in race dates during the month, according to figures released by Equibase on Wednesday.--end quote
Race dates climbed 2.5 percent during the month, from 511 in May of last year to 524 in May of this year, despite racetracks encountering widespread troubles in attracting full fields to races. Wagering climbed from $1.20 billion last year to $1.21 billion this year, for an average wagering per race day of $2.31 million this year, down 1.3 percent from average wagering per race day of $2.34 million in May 2013.
The May figures are heavily influenced by betting on the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. Betting on the Derby this year was $124.7 million, down slightly from last year’s total, while betting on the Preakness was $58.6 million, up 8.3 percent.
Overall handle was up despite a steep drop in handle on races at Churchill Downs this year aside from its Oaks and Derby day. Handle at the track has been impacted by poor field sizes and a widely publicized boycott of the track’s races because of a decision to raise takeout at the beginning of the spring meet."
Churchill handle update at Playersboycott.org:
"Do the above numbers suggest everyday horseplayers said "no" to higher takeout?--end quote
• Churchill's 2014 Spring Meet is in the books. You the everyday horseplayer spoke loud and clear.
• There's no way to spin this.
• No business announces a price increase, has their sales crater 25% in two months, and calls the result anything but terrible.
• All of the other major racing jurisdictions running in 2014 at the same time as Churchill (New York, Maryland, and California) either had good meets that resulted in reporting of an uptick in handle - or are still running meets that when completed should result in reporting of an uptick in handle.
• The field size narrative CDI Execs have been feeding reporters doesn't hold water. Tracks at other major racing jurisdictions running during the same time period as the Churchill Spring Meet are having field size issues of their own.
• NONE of the other major racing jurisdictions had their numbers crater for regular race dates in 2014. "
Looks like to me .."The message was sent"
Hopefully , we can get this continuing for next year
when their bonuses are public again
|All-sources handle at Churchill spring meet down sharply|
- DRF.com July 2, 2014
"Regarding the sizable drop in all-sources handle that ensued, the California-based website playersboycott.org was updated this week to read: "You the everyday horseplayer spoke loud and clear.""--end quote
Handle Updates at Playersboycott.org site:
Management blames competing tracks and less horses
and that made them lose 49 million from last year!!!