TrackNet is all wet!

Feb 10, 2009 5:05 PM
Getting Rich with Saber by Richard Saber |

The "Big Impasse" continues between the Nevada race books and TrackNet, which represents tracks owned by Churchill Downs and Magna Entertainment.

Some casinos have chosen to not book these tracks at all while a few have promoted the impasse and have taken a "go and get the business attack."

Station Casinos is offering triple points on Pari-Mutuel selected tracks such as Aqueduct, Tampa Bay Downs, Turf Paradise, Turfway and several others. Also, they continue to book all the tracks that have fallen under the TrackNet umbrella but taking the bets on the house side.

Translation: Station Casinos is booking the bets and are not insured of a win. It’s just like booking a sports bet, where there are limits on the payoffs and bets like the Pick Six, Pick Four, dime supers and the stupid Magna Pick Five aren’t accepted.

As for the Pick Six and Magna Pick Five, who cares? Those are usually impossible to hit and big players usually bet where they can get a big rebate. As for the limits on payouts, they are very generous and I have seen no one complain.

As for how the books taking these bets are doing, they are not complaining either. Extra work places like Palace Station are doing a great job and going all out to promote their race book. The only big drawback is not seeing the races live.

The results take about 30 minutes to confirm, but that’s actually been good for me. I’ve made bets not being swayed by big odds moves or my horse being dead on the board. Just this past week Robs Hero (on our Horses To Watch list) won and paid a big price. I may not have bet that way if he was dead on the board. All I know is that there were a lot of happy bettors.

In the past the most popular person in the race book was the guy with the sheets or real sharpie that players wanted to know the best play. Now the most popular person is the guy with a computer who has the races live. This bettor is surrounded like Custer at the last stand.

Word is the impasse could last through the Kentucky Derby. For me, if it does the only ones ending up on the short end will be TrackNet and Churchill Downs. The books need to take a hard stand in these tight economic conditions as the only business in Las Vegas besides Pawn Shops not laying off employees.

Just remember if the books cave they will have to pass the extra cost on to us the lowly horse player. Comps and free drinks could be long gone.

Finally, my little city of Steubenville, Ohio was the scene of an ESPN crew working on a film about Jimmy the Greek. The legendary handicapper learned his business booking in Steubenville and had one of the first sports book in Las Vegas.

For those of you who love a good Damon Runyon character this will be a must watch.

Related Articles:
Nevada casinos forced to book horse race bets
Horse racing: Vegas books pact down to finish line
Nevada casinos avoid pari-mutuel blackout