Meadowlands To Reduce Takeout Across The Board For Fall Meet

12.09.2016, by Jim
Meadowlands To Reduce Takeout Across The Board For Fall Meet&h=223&w=348&zc=1

When the subject of increasing the popularity of horse racing comes up the discussion inevitably turns to the importance of reducing track ‘takeout’. A lower takeout means more money returned to the player. In theory, the track ultimately sees more revenue to to increased ‘churn’ as players re-bet the additional stake. That theory will be tested in practice at the upcoming all-turf Thoroughbred meet at the Meadowlands at New Jersey. Every bet on the meet will have a 15 percent takeout. That equals the lowest takeout in the country, offered by Suffolk Downs at their six day meet this year. Last year, takeout at the 14-day Meadowlands meet was 17 percent for straight bets (win,place,show), 19 percent for exactas and daily doubles; 25 percent for pick threes, trifectas, and superfectas; and 15 percent for pick fours and pick fives.

Dennis Drazen, advisor to the ownership group of Monmouth Park said that the move was an ‘experiment’ prompted by the constant request from horse players for a lower takeout rate: “Everybody keeps talking about reducing takeout to a fairer number. We began talking about this last year and we think it makes sense to do it now to see what we come up with.” The meet will be the fourth operated by Monmouth Park at the Meadowlands track. It begins September 28 and runs through October 19 and has, on balance, been considered a success due to the large fields in the races among other factors. Last year, average field size at the Meadowlands meet was 9.9 horses per race, well above the overall 2015 national average field size of 7.85 horses per race. It also has been successful at attracting the betting public with the handle growing by 15% or more every year.

As noted at the outset, lower takeout is extremely popular with players and seen as a way to get more money in their hands which more often than not gets ‘re-bet’. Due to the politically fractured nature of horse racing, however, nothing is easy as it should be. Simulcasting operations make less money and in the past have responded to lowered takeout rates by refusing to carry the signal at the track.

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