Horse racing analysts urge U.S. tracks to lower takeout rates

Dec 6, 2017 10:23 AM

A familiar refrain was heard this week in Tucson where a group of prominent racing analysts again urged U.S. tracks to lower takeout rates, reports the Daily Racing Form.

The analysts, appearing on a Tuesday panel at the University of Arizona Global Symposium on Racing, said such action is needed to reverse prolonged declines in wagering.

The call for the takeout reduction appeared to be an apparent response to recent takeout increases at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. Panelist Marshall Gramm, a professor of economics at Rhodes College said regarding takeout increases at racetracks, “There may be short-term gains, but there are long-term losses.” Gramm added that he’s “a horseplayer first, and an economist second.”

The panelists gathered on the opening morning of the two-day Symposium.

Gramm, citing his own statistical models examining the impact of takeout rates on the amount racetracks retain from wagering, said reductions in takeout long-term would have no statistical impact on the amount of money retained by tracks because of the impact of churn and because players would bet more of their winnings back into the pools with racetracks retaining the same amount of money on betting over the longer period of time.