Computer Assisted Wagering

Letter to the Editor: CAW 'Activity Stinks to High Heaven'

by Walter Toner Rainy afternoon on Cape Cod and I had a few minutes to kill, so flipped the channel to TVG for a quick flutter. I selected the filly Just Like Magic, approaching the gate at 7-5 as the recipient of a $10 win wager in the 3rd race Oaklawn (3/28). She charged up the rail and won. Final odds were 3-5. WTF. Sorry for the crudeness. Racing will never engage the next generation of punters with 15-27% takeout and NO fixed odds, when they can bet on sports...

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Computer Assisted Wagering: Anatomy Of A Deal

A deal that Del Mar has made with a titan of Computer Assisted Wagering (CAW) provides a rare glimpse into the tremendous sway that individual players can wield over track and racing officials, the potentially lopsided economic ramifications of such deals, and the tremendous pressures that California executives are under with competing jurisdictions that enjoy purse subsidies not available in the Golden State. It also turns a spotlight onto a world largely hidden from the public eye-one that industry leaders are generally loathe to discuss publicly, and in which just...

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Letter to the Editor: First, Stop the Bleeding

T.D. Thornton's report on racetrack closures in California (TDN, 12/6/23) and Dan Ross's piece on Pat Cummings's research into Computer Assisted Wagering in California (TDN 2/13/24) are frightening for all tracks not supported by casinos/slots. Santa Anita and Del Mar are high-profile tracks in trouble, but they are not alone. The problem? Host tracks are now receiving very little for their racing content. Remember Napster, when a lot of people were stealing songs and nobody knew what to do about it? I'm not Steve Jobs, who saved the music industry...

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Computer Assisted Wagering: 101 for California Stakeholders

Last June, Pat Cummings, executive director of the National Thoroughbred Alliance and former executive director of the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation, issued a stark warning about the encroaching impacts from Computer Assisted Wagering (CAW) to the men and women trying to forge a living through horse racing in the Golden State. CAW players constitute a small group of mostly anonymous, high-volume gamblers with an outsized impact on the betting markets--including in California--due to their use of sophisticated wagering technologies and the inducements offered to them in the form of attractive rates...

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Fed Up With the CAWs, Brent Sumja is Now an Ex-Horseplayer

It was back in 2004 that Brent Sumja made a career decision. He was among the leading trainers in Northern California, but wasn't following his true passion. That was playing the horses. So he disbanded his stable and set out to be a professional handicapper. It went well. He played the races regularly and also focused on the handicapping tournaments. In 2014, Sumja won five tournaments in a four-month span from May to September to clinch the title of 2013 Daily Racing Form NHC Tour Champion and the first prize...

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Technology, Engagement, and the Future the Focus of Annual Round Table Conference

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - A panel on computer-assisted wagering (CAW) and its pros and cons, and another on trainers' reactions to the new Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) regulations, took center stage at the 2023 Jockey Club Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing held in Saratoga Springs, New York on Thursday. Patrick Cummings, the moderator of the panel on CAWs, is the Executive Director of the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation, a racing-industry think tank. Cummings took the panel through a brief history of parimutuel wagering and the changes...

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Letter to the Editor: Existential Crisis. No Hyperbole

There have been several stories recently in the TDN about Computer Assisted Wagering (CAW), and many of them have contained accurate and useful information. But what those articles have failed to do is convey what CAW really is and does, why it matters, and most of all, how dire and urgent the situation they have created is. Hence this letter. 1-First, the basics. Betting handle is the lifeblood of our industry. It directly funds purses, creates all the jobs in our business, and indirectly funds the commercial bloodstock industry—no (or...

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Pat Cummings Joins The TDN Writers' Room Podcast

Computer Assisted Wagering (CAW) has been a hot topic of late. What we know is that there are a handful gamblers that use computer algorithms to formulate their wagers, are allowed to make their bets at the very last second and receive substantial rebates. But there's a lot we don't know, like how much are they betting, what pools they most prefer and what affect has that had on the "regular" player? In his latest report for the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation (TIF), entitled Sharks & Minnows, TIF Executive Director Pat...

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Agenda Set For 3rd Annual Racing & Gaming Conference At Saratoga

Pat Brown, the director of The Racing and Gaming Conference at Saratoga, knows what makes an agenda tick. He has seen his fair share of seemingly endless Power Points, glazed-over eyes and the attendees that surf the Internet in an attempt to multitask. The best way to combat the conference malaise? Just a healthy dose of fun. "I've spent over 40 years of in and out of government, thinking about and writing about the gaming and horse racing industry," said Brown, a former advisor to New York's Governor Mario Cuomo...

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TIF Issues Alarming Report on Computer Assisted Wagering in CA

Nine of the 11 largest betting pools have shown declines from all customers except computer-assisted wagering groups over the past four years, while the handle of the largest CAW groups grew dramatically, according to an extensive study of data released Monday by the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation (TIF). "The Thoroughbred Idea Foundation's analysis of data from Del Mar between 2018 and 2022 showed on an inflation-adjusted basis, per-race (or per-opportunity basis for certain bet types) CAW betting, from what is believed to be 17 accounts, has grown tremendously in the last...

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Letter To The Editor: In Response to Computer Assisted Wagering

by Richard Resnik I am writing in response to one of the comments on Dan Liebman's Letter to the Editor on computer assisted wagering. I am certain the CAW issue is drowning you and there are more important voices than mine to be heard. I will take this opportunity to share a few pieces of relevant information that form the basis for my ire on this issue. First, I am 77, a retired litigator and at a point in my life where betting is part of horse racing as a...

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Letter to the Editor: Computer Assisted Wagering

Thoroughbred Daily News has written extensively about Computer Assisted Wagering and the players and clubs that by using such methods have placed a stranglehold on our pari-mutuel system. Just a week ago in this space, Dan Ross had a wonderful column on the subject and what it has done to handle in California. It is hard to say no to someone wanting to bet a huge amount on Thoroughbred racing, and it is understandable in giving them rebates to reward their action. But it is harming the game and small...

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