The “National Council of Legislators From Gaming States” is an umbrella organization of the state legislators responsible for the regulation of gaming across the country. The Council is holding its summer meeting in July. A primary area of focus will be horseracing. Here is how the Council is promoting this particular panel on its website:
“Most horse-racing tracks cannot fill all of the races they intend to run. Racing programs are inundated with short fields. Handles are declining proportionately. Racing is not attracting younger fans. A panel of experts will address these serious challenges at the Summer Meeting….”
– cannot fill all of the races
– short fields
– declining handles
– not attracting younger fans
Not even trying to hide it.
Then there’s this from Fonner Park CEO Chris Kotulak (in the Paulick Report yesterday) as he waits for final approval of corporate welfare for his beloved industry:
“This winter, before, during and after the Nebraska legislative session, I’ve been very outspoken in my efforts to communicate the dire straits that the Nebraska horse racing industry has fallen into. … I hoped to offer increased purses this year but couldn’t. The hard fact is that there is never a day of mutuel handle at Fonner Park that covers our purses for that day. … I remain bent on increased purses and am working all angles to achieve that – whether we have slot reels spinning by our 2023 condition book or not. … Truthfully, without casino operations, it’s a weak outlook.”
Again, there it is. Horseracing, as a rule, is a losing proposition in the 21st Century. Now, if only we can convince those legislators.