JC / Railbird

Time for True Payouts

Steven Crist:

The argument against providing true payouts like $2.06 or $2.39 has always centered on the flimsy issue of forcing mutuel clerks to deal with pennies. The real issue is that all those confiscated pennies add up to several million dollars a year in each of the largest racing jurisdictions …

In an age where most of the handle is bet offtrack and increasingly through wagering accounts where no one is counting out small change, it is time to re-examine these policies. A horseplayer whose $2.39 payoff is being knocked down to $2.20 is having a 47 percent rounding tax applied to his rightful winnings – on top of a 15-to-20 percent takeout.

Ending breakage should be as much an issue as shrinking takeout.


Hey, I am all for truer payouts, but if that never happens, why can’t this money go to TB retirement programs?

Posted by Susan on March 26, 2011 @ 9:15 am

Because the bettors don’t want to fund Thoroughbred retirement programs any more than the breeders or owners do.

Posted by EJXD2 on March 27, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

Well, sure.

But a couple other things bother me more about raising takeout or using breakage to fund retirement programs — there’s a tendency in the industry to think of horseplayer money as found money, and treating breakage as a slush fund is a great example of that perspective, and it’s an easy solution, as would be raising takeout.

To co-opt horseplayer money as a source of retirement funds is a way of eliding the responsibility owners and breeders, as a group, have to racehorses and collectively working through the ethical issues involved.

Posted by Jessica on March 27, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

>> eliding the responsibility owners and breeders

I’d add trainers too.

Otherwise, well conveyed.

Posted by The_Knight_Sky on March 29, 2011 @ 10:07 am