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By Keeneland takeout increase
3:03:50 PM

From the HANA Blog:

"HANA Statement on the Keeneland Takeout Increase
It was announced today that long-time horseplayer friendly racetrack Keeneland has raised their takeout rates. Win wagering, which was at 16% takeout, will now be taxed at 17.5%, while all other bets will go from 19% to 22%. The pick 5 takeout, previously at 19%, will be 15%.

This fall, Keeneland’s exacta and daily double takeouts will be among the highest in North America.

In 2009, outgoing Keeneland President Nick Nicholson said, “We’re very gratified to know that our efforts to promote large, quality fields, a wide variety of wagering options and a reasonable takeout rate have been recognized….. Keeneland is enthusiastic about the future and we’re committed to getting even better.”

Keeneland, as a non-profit under the leadership of strong executives like Nick Nicholson, had always placed an emphasis on their betting customers, with an eye to the long term health of the sport. Wagering customers were considered a part of the economic engine of racing, were catered to, and always felt home at Keeneland. This, in part, spurred handle increases in a sport suffering massive handle losses. Their strategy was clearly working. Now, it appears that the new management team has gone the way of so many corporate racetracks by only looking at the short term numbers, and listening to stakeholders who yell the loudest.

"I was part of a group from HANA that spent a week visiting Keeneland back in April 2009," recalled HANA President Jeff Platt. "On the day we left Nick Nicholson presented our group with a Keeneland poster which he signed. Above his signature are the words, 'Horseplayers will always be welcome at Keeneland.' Right now I'm not sure if that's true anymore."

The Horseplayers Association of North America is extremely disappointed with the new Keeneland management's decision and will have further announcements after talking with our members."
--end quote



5:38:24 PM
Link to a short survey about Keeneland:



5:41:05 PM
Pull the Pocket --
If Racing Wants to Make Big Wagering Decisions, At Least Study the Numbers:

"So what can we learn about Churchill's takeout hike, if anything?

In 2013 (omitted from the above statement), outside Derby week, at the 16%-19% takeout rates, handle was $322.6M.

In 2014 at the takeout rates Keeneland just hiked to, this handle was down to $248.4M, or off about $74 million.

2015: $252.6M

2016: $260.8M

Since 2013, total handle outside the Derby is down about 20%, or $62 million."
--end quote

Imo, a pretty good write up.



6:06:45 PM
An Open Letter to Horseplayers:

Keeneland is raising takeout. Win, Place, and Show to 17.5% from 16% (an increase of 9.38%.)

All Exotics except the pick5 to 22% from 19% (an increase of 15.79%.)

HANA surveyed its membership about the Keeneland takeout increase.

When asked whether or not HANA should organize a boycott the results were:

63% Yes
28% No
9% Other

When asked whether or not HANA should use the site, the results were:

77% Yes
17% No
6% Other

As a horseplayer I've decided to join the boycott at the site because I believe higher takeout is harmful to the long term health of thoroughbred racing.

As a horseplayer I believe sitting on the sidelines is not an option for me because everybody in the industry is waiting to see how players react to this.

I believe if a clear message isn't sent: Not just Keeneland -- but other tracks -- will have takeout increases too.

When we boycotted Churchill in 2014 because of their takeout increase: They were down a solid 25% outside of the Derby.

How much of that was the market speaking and how much came from us drawing attention to the takeout increase is hard to say. But we sent a pretty clear message.

I expect Keeneland Fall 2017 numbers to mirror Churchill 2014 numbers - and be down a similar 25% to 30%.

But that may not be a strong enough message.

I believe that by getting the message out to as many horseplayers as possible -- we can knock Keeneland numbers down significantly.

I am asking you to join us by not betting one track -- Keeneland -- for one month -- October 2017. That's it.

If enough players do that:

I believe that together we can convince Keeneland to reverse their decision.

--Jeff Platt, HANA President

5:38:48 PM
Link to Press Release at the site:

"HANA and Announce Horseplayer Boycott of Keeneland


HANA and have jointly announced that a horseplayer boycott of Keeneland is underway, citing an increase in takeout despite a revenue windfall from Historical Racing machines located at The Red Mile as reasons for the boycott.

"Keeneland decided to hit horseplayers with a takeout increase," HANA President and spokesman Jeff Platt said. "Keeneland claims they are going to use money raised by the takeout increase to boost purses. But higher takeout in the name of bigger purses has been tried before and it has failed, big time."

Platt cited past takeout increases as examples:

"For the first 6 months immediately following the takeout increase at Los Alamitos in 2010 on track handle was down 27%.

Horseplayers boycotted Santa Anita and Golden Gate in the early months of 2011 as a result of takeout increases there. Instead of bigger purses the result was purse cuts and layoffs. In October, 2011 the local paper in Arcadia, CA where Santa Anita is located reported Santa Anita was cutting one third of its staff.

Churchill had a takeout increase for their spring 2014 meet. Handle fell by 25% outside of the Derby and Maggi Moss reported on her Twitter account that Churchill had quietly announced a 20% purse cut for their fall 2014 meet.

"None of this would have happened if higher takeout was the answer. Keeneland is doubling down on the same bad idea."

Platt also mentioned that he reached out to Keeneland management beforehand:

"I reached out to Bob Elliston of Keeneland and we had a 90 minute phone call. We discussed the actual outcomes that arose from the above takeout increases. But it became obvious that Keeneland believes players would support a takeout increase because money raised by the takeout increase would be going to bigger purses. I did my best to make it clear that takeout increases lead to the opposite of bigger purses. In the end we agreed to disagree."

Beginning Friday October 6, 2017: Takeout for WIN-PLACE-SHOW wagers at Keeneland will be 17.50%. (An increase of 9.375% vs. last meet's takeout rate of 16.00%.) Takeout for all EXOTIC wagers at Keeneland except the pick5 will be 22.00%. (An increase of 15.79% vs. last meet's takeout rate of 19.00%.)

HANA and are asking horseplayers to consider the idea that horseplayers are consumers and that every handle dollar bet at Keeneland is a vote for higher takeout everywhere.

HANA and are asking horseplayers to send a clear message by not betting one track, Keeneland, for one month, October 2017. That’s it.

Platt finished with the following message to horseplayers:

"Join us. Together we can convince Keeneland to reverse their decision.""
--end quote

Jeff, just so you know: Until I hear otherwise Keeneland's fall meet is now "cancelled."

Glen Reaves

8:54:58 AM
Thanks Jeff. Since I have come off of the inactive list, can you name any other tracks that HANA recommends boycotting. I'm certainly on board.

10:47:23 PM
Never thought I'd be saying this - but the first ever Keeneland handle update is now up on the site.

Keeneland Fall Meet 2016 vs. 2017, the first three days:

"DOWN $4.97 Million (-14.61%)

The first three days of the Keeneland Fall 2017 meet are in the books:

Even though we're off to a decent enough start and Sunday saw them down 30%, I fully expect them to use "It had nothing to do with the boycott" and "the weather" and "field size was down" as excuses.

So let's keep to the task at hand and remember what we're boycotting for.

We're boycotting because we're trying to send a clear message.

We're boycotting because other tracks are waiting to see what happens and we want them to think twice before having takeout increases of their own.

Between now and Wednesday, I'm asking each of you to take it upon yourselves to reach out to other horseplayers.

Tell them about the boycott.

Ask them to join us.

Together we can convince Keeneland to reverse their decision.
--end quote



2:47:48 AM
Thanks Jeff for all you do !!

10:22:05 AM
HANA Blog|Sunday, October 29, 2017|
Recap - Keeneland Fall 2017 Meet:

"The question isn't whether or not Keeneland had a takeout increase and underperformed the market by a good -20%.

The question is whether or not anyone is listening."
--end quote



11:39:05 AM
I'm listening. Avoided playing Keeneland to support HANA boycott suggestion. Reading into the results appears that we have an effect on wagering

~Edited by: parshooter  on:  11/1/2017  at:  11:39:05 AM~

7:54:43 AM
From The
By Frank Angst 02-07-2018--

Keeneland to Reduce Takeout Ahead of Spring Meet:

"Noting that 57% of wagering on its races is either win, place, show or exacta wagering, Keeneland will reduce takeout in those pools. Takeout in the win, place, and show pools will be reduced from 17.5% to 16% and exacta takeout will be reduced from 22% to 19.5%. The 16% rate on win, place, and show matches the previous rate before the fall 2017 increase and the 19.5% exacta rate nearly matches the previous 19% rate.

Takeout is the amount of money removed from each pari-mutuel pool largely used to pay tracks and purses. Essentially it's the price of wagering on horse racing.

Keeneland vice president of racing and sales Bob Elliston said the track expected some pushback on its fall 2017 takeout increase—"nobody likes a price increase"—but the quality of the points made by many customers made an impact. That pushback included a Horseplayers Association of North America boycott of the Keeneland fall meet."
--end quote

This would not have happened without widespread support from a lot of horseplayers.

I want to say THANK YOU to every single horseplayer who stood on principle and bet less at Keeneland last fall than they otherwise would have.

--Jeff Platt, HANA President



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