Elite Turf CLub

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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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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When Do CAWs Help And Hurt California Racing?

Last month, a lengthy Financial Times feature detailed the growing share of overall handle generated through Computer Assisted Wagering (CAW)--both in California and nationwide. CAW players are a small group of high-volume and largely anonymous gamblers with an outsized impact on the betting markets due in no small part to the sophisticated wagering tools at their disposal. Because of their high stakes play, they're offered inducements in the form of rebates and reduced takeout rates largely not available to the average punter. CAW proponents argue that these deep-pocketed players provide...

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The Week in Review: Handle Falls Sharply Again in February… What's Going On?

Figures released last week by Equibase showed that U.S. handle declined by 5.21% in February. This comes after handle declined by 7.19% in January. For the year, that's a drop off of 6.22% and, if those numbers hold up throughout the year, total handle will be off by $750 million and the year-over-year percentage decline will be the worst the sport has suffered since 2010. And it's not just that racing has gotten off to a slow, reversible start this year when it comes to wagering. Whatever is going on,...

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The Week in Review: For Plesa, a Bittersweet Ending to Calder Saga

From a racing standpoint, there could not have been a more appropriate way for Calder to go out. There when the track ran its first ever race in 1971, trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr. won the last race run at the track that had been rebranded as Gulfstream Park West. Plesa won for the 1,326th time at Calder/GPW Saturday when Diligent (Temple City) won the final race that will ever be run at the South Florida racetrack. "I didn't ask anybody to put me in the last race. It just happened....

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