Wrong way, Kay

I recently read that NYRA plans to increase rates for admission, parking and reserved seats. I cannot imagine how a group of executives, whose salaries recently were reported to be almost a quarter million dollars, could be so dumb. While it is true that the casual fan at Saratoga won’t mind paying an extra five or ten bucks for her day at the track — though she may bet less to make up for it — the regular horse player has just been provided another reason to give up the game as unwinnable.
Assuming on track attendance, as opposed to simulcasting, is a significant source of revenue for NYRA, what it should be doing to meet existing and planned competition for the gambling dollar is lowering the prices it plans to raise and lowering the confiscatory takeout, which you never hear about.
The racing fan, who funds the game, gets no respect. The horsemen get theirs. NYRA employees, especially the executives, certainly get theirs. The fan gets asked to pay more by someone who obviously does not understand that NYRA cannot survive all year on Saratoga and that regular year round players cannot be asked to pay more and stay in the game. The decline in racing handle over the years is largely due to changing tastes and competition from other forms of gambling, but I would be shocked if it did not correlate closely to increases in the takeout over that period.


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