The biggest reason that Pennsylvania harness racing handle has gone down is it is the highest taxed racing in the country. All the players at all the simulcast facilities around the country know that a 30-35% take out on exotics is a preposterous price to pay. So they play elsewhere.
Pennsylvania lawmakers need to urge, or legislate, a reduction of the take out rates to some of the lowest levels in the country. Then they need to market the dickens out of it. The quality of the racing is excellent. The players will return when the state stops allowing the tracks to rob them blind with horrendous retention rates. One only needs to do a little research and will find that NYRA, the New York Racing Association, lowered take out a few years ago and marketed it heavily. They reaped the benefits of that. Other tracks like Sam Houston and The Meadowlands promote low take outs on certain types of wagers. They are getting the handle. Last Saturday night at Pocono Downs, the win pool barely reached $5,000 in most races.
The track management should be ashamed of themselves for not doing everything they can to get their players back. The article was correct to point out the industry is now at the whim of the Governor. If they do not put forward their best efforts to grow their own business, it becomes much easier for them to eventually be cut out completely. After all, the casino's always need more parking space.
By the way, jockeys ride thoroughbreds. Harness horses are called standardardbreds and have DRIVERS.
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