Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Questions at the Track

I don't know why you would need the costly McKinsey Report to figure out how to draw more folks to the racetrack and to betting on the races. Just take a novice fan to the track and listen to them. This past Sunday I took a married couple in their 40's to Saratoga Race Course with me and my better half.

They like casino and slot gambling and take frequent trips to Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods, and Atlantic City. They were last at a racetrack at a New England Fair 20 years ago. Here were some of their questions they threw out at me during the day.

Upon reaching the gates and stopping to pay the $5 Clubhouse Admission:

Q: How come you have to pay $5 a person to get into the track when you already have your pre-paid Clubhouse seats.? We don't pay to get into a Casino?

My Comment: Good Question, I always thought it made no sense to charge for the privilege of just walking into the track. Charge for the grandstand & clubhouse seats and let everyone else in for free. Don't ding the customer.

Q: What's a Quinella bet again?

My Comment: I pointed them to the Program and gave them a basic primer on the various bets they could make. I think we forget that most people want their gambling to be easy and they find the slots and poker easier to learn and easy to figure out. The tracks need more visible education guidelines with companion online guides, games, etc.

Q: Why are there 11 horses in the race but the infield center video board is showing only the odds for Horses 1-9.

My Comment:
This one had me confused as I knew there were 11 horses in the race but only 9 were on the board until I realized that NYRA was playing video ads on the right side of the screen which eliminated the odds on Horses 10-11 in this particular race. The ads eventually stopped and Horses 10-11 showed up, but how is a novice better supposed to understand the game if they want to bet Horse #10 and the odds are nowhere to be found on the main video board ?

These were all good questions and the cost to hear them was nothing.

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