Live horse racing and live dog racing have been staples of entertainment and spectator sports in the United States for a long time. But even though these institutions have ranked high as spectator sports and have found their way into our culture, they are in serious jeopardy. Race tracks are increasingly trying to shift their focus from live racing to casino gambling, slots, and card rooms.
The biggest problem, as is often the case, is short sighted greed. Of course race tracks have to show a profit and have a responsibility to their investors, but what appears to be a smart investment can often turn out to be a poor investment if all factors aren’t mega888 online considered.
One of the factors that I think isn’t being given enough notice is that there are only so many casino gambling dollars available and we are quickly reaching the saturation point. As more and more race tracks try to get in on the casino gambling market, they will find that there just isn’t enough of a market, enough players, to justify a large investment in casino gambling or card rooms.
Another danger of this, “Let’s get in on the casino gambling goldmine,” mentality is that racing is being shoved aside and ignored. Live racing, particularly at greyhound race tracks, has suffered in recent years. Race tracks are closing or going with fewer live performances. New England was once a good region for live greyhound racing, but Plainfield Greyhound in Connecticut has closed its doors and the New Hampshire tracks have all gone to fewer live performances making it harder for the fan of greyhound racing to enjoy his or her favorite past time.
It took many years and lots of hard work to build a customer base for horse racing and greyhound racing. Even though the numbers have been slipping over the years, there is still a core of dedicated fans who attend the races. If tracks close or go to much shorter seasons or fewer performances, they will lose that customer base. True, some of those people will try casino gambling for a while, but many will find it a poor substitute for the colorful and exciting spectacle of live racing and will eventually leave the casinos behind for good.
Another problem the new casinos, racinos, and cardrooms will face is that if racing fans do turn to casino gambling as a past time, they may not go to a local casino or cardroom, but may decide to go to a gambling destination like Las Vegas, Atlantic City, or any of the larger gambling destinations that offer so much more than a local casino can. How many of you race track managers and owners have thought of that?
Though times may be lean for greyhound racing and horse racing at the moment, I’d like to remind you of a quaint statement that has a lot of truth and wisdom within it, “Dance with the one that brung ya.” Racing made and paid for those race tracks and supports many people in those communities. Turning your backs on that infrastructure that supports racing as well as the customer base may leave you with no racing and consequently no way to return to racing and much less profit than predicted from other forms of gambling.