The Pool Party

While attending the Horse Player World Series in February at The Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas I was fortunate to spend all three days of the event at a table with Ross Gallo, creator of the Ultimate Handicappers Invitational, and Mike Mayo, a Texas-based horseplayer and tournament veteran.

They were just then formulating an idea to band horseplayers together to show the industry that players can and should impact what happens in this business. We have seen a few ideas like this before and they generally take a negative approach, like let’s boycott this or not bet on that for an entire day. Instead, and what is unique about this idea, is that Mike and Ross were taking a positive approach to get industry attention. They decided that doing what they do, which is bet on the horses, would work. The idea was to form a group of players, select one race per week, and wager on that race. Having a large group wagering $20 to $100 on a single race in the middle of the week might be noticed. They started out using tracks such as Will Rogers Downs (which was noticed for sure) and Beulah.

This Saturday they will be wagering on Canterbury’s 8th race.

You can read more about this idea and about Horseplayers Association of North America (HANA) on their website. LINK HERE.

At Canterbury, I have always felt that we respect our players and listen to what they have to say. And that isn’t just the company line. Of course not everything is possible and I am sure that some items that HANA wants to accomplish won’t fit the current business model. But I do believe that they, and I can say without a doubt this includes Ross and Mike, have the best interests of this industry in mind.

This is the best game in the world and we all need to work to keep it that way.


3 thoughts on “The Pool Party”

  1. As a member of HANA, I’ve participated in all of their Pool Parties until this one. The reason for my absence? As a Minnesota resident I am not allowed to bet on CBY through any of my ADW accounts. If I want to bet CBY from home, I have to take my money off shore.So sadly, as it will be with every racing date this summer here in MN, today my hundreds of dollars worth of handle are going out of state, to Prairie Meadows, Hollywood Park, and Will Rogers Downs. Tomorrow’s handle will be just the same–leaving the state. Next weekend, the same. The week after that, the same.This short-sighted and backwards way of thinking by track management (I’ve asked the racing commission and this is a CBY management issue according to them) is causing the track to lose out on thousands of dollars worth of handle every day they run. Not allowing me or other MN residents to bet CBY online is NOT going to force me to attend live and pay five bucks to get in…..I’ll simply follow another track and take my money elsewhere.It’s just a darn shame it has to be this way.

  2. John:Thanks for your comment. Stating that Canterbury won’t allow you to wager on our races through an ADW is 100% untrue.According to MRC rules we are not allowed to sell our signal to an ADW unless it agrees not to take wagers from MN residents on Canterbury races.That, according to the MRC, would be tantamount to off-track betting and is illegal. Furthermore, because of that, we cannot receive source market fees like other tracks. You are absolutely correct that your handle goes out and our horsemen receive nothing in return.I appreciate your concern about your handle going out of state. I also support HANA and The Pool Party. There needs to be common ground between players and track management and this is a starting point. But we need to approach each other with facts rather than mischaracterizations and

  3. I received a reply from John which I will include here in an edited version. My responses are in CAPS. I want to lead by saying that i respect John’s opinion and I think his interest is in seeing this game and racing in MN succeed. John writes: I encourage anyone who wants to learn the real truth to contact the Minnesota Racing Commission themselves. Like I have. They will tell you a far different story than the one being presented here. I SPOKE WITH A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE MRC. WHEN CANTERBURY SELLS ITS SIGNAL TO AN ADW, THE STATE REQUIRES THAT LANGUAGE BE INCLUDED IN THE CONTRACT THAT PRHOHIBITS MINNESOTA RESIDENTS FROM WAGERING ON CANTERBURY RACES. THAT IS NOT CANTERBURY’S LANGUAGE. PLEASE DO CONTACT THE MRC WITH ANY QUESTIONS. John continues: They are very willing to talk to people, in fact, last year a few of us concerned citizens worked with head vet Lynn Hovda, a wonderful, wonderful woman, and the rest of the board to get positive test results posted online…. I APPLAUD THE GROUP THAT MADE THIS HAPPEN LAST YEAR.John : When I asked about how our band of misfits could go about getting the “no online betting for MN residents on MN tracks” changed, I was specifically told that CBY ownership was AGAINST it because it takes away from the gate/attendance. YOU ARE CORRECT THAT IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO COME TO CANTERBURY THAT IT TAKES AWAY FROM OUR GATE AND HANDLE. HOWEVER WE ALSO KNOW THAT WE ARE NOT GOING TO CHANGE YOUR HABITS. WE ARE PROHIBITED FROM COMPETING IN THE ONLINE MARKET WHICH WOULD BENEFIT MN HORSEMEN ALTHOUGH COMPANIES LOCATED OUTSIDE THE STATE CAN FREELY TAKE WAGERS. WERE YOU ALLOWED TO WAGER ON CANTERBURY THROUGH YOUR ADW WE WOULD AT LEAST RECAPTURE SOME OF THE LOST REVENUE. AT THE PRESENT THAT IS NOT THE CASE AND IS NOT OUR DOING

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