STILL LOOKING FOR THE POT OF GOLD

BOYCOTT HURTING COLONIAL DOWNS’ SIMULCAST HANDLE

In a recent email to VHBPA board members, Executive Director Frank Petramalo pointed out the statistics for the first six days of the 2009 Colonial Downs live meet.


According to Frank’s quick anyalysis, all source wagering handle is down 18 percent compared to last year and attendance is down 32 percent.

Petramalo predicted that attendance would “pick up today (Saturday) with “25 cents” day” – and it did as over 3,300 folks showed up.

He attributes the big drop in handle to the Churchill/Magna boycott. According to Petramalo the majority of the decline is “because all the Churchill tracks and OTBs, the Magna tracks and OTBs, as well as Churchill’s Twin Spires ADW and Magna’s XpressBet are boycotting our signal. That’s right, if you’re a Florida, Maryland, or Kentucky horsemen you can’t bet our signal in your home state unless you go to TVG or YouBet.”

The boycott stems from Churchill/Magna’s displeasure with our newly enacted law requiring all ADWs (including TwinSpires and XpressBet) to pay Colonial Downs and the VHBPA a 10% source market fee, and the breeder’s fund a 1% fee, on all ADW wagers in Virginia.

Calling it his “best guess,” Petramalo is predicting hopefully that “the boycott may end within a week, depending on the outcome of the VRC meeting this coming Wednesday.” We hope he’s right.

The good news is field size. According to Petramalo’s calculations the comparative average field size for the first six days is up: 2009- 9.1 per race; 2008- 7.5 per race.

(Photo by Nick Hahn)