HORSEPLAYERS ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA (HANA) AND PLAYERSBOYCOTT.ORG ANNOUNCE HORSEPLAYER BOYCOTT OF KEENELAND
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Charlottesville, Virginia October 5, 2017): HANA and Playersboycott.org have jointly announced that a horseplayer boycott of Keeneland is underway, citing an increase in takeout despite a revenue windfall from Historical Racing machines located at The Red Mile as reasons for the boycott.
"Keeneland decided to hit horseplayers with a takeout increase," HANA President and Playersboycott.org spokesman Jeff Platt said. "Keeneland claims they are going to use money raised by the takeout increase to boost purses. But higher takeout in the name of bigger purses has been tried before and it has failed, big time."
Platt cited past takeout increases as examples:
"For the first 6 months immediately following the takeout increase at Los Alamitos in 2010 on track handle was down 27%.
Horseplayers boycotted Santa Anita and Golden Gate in the early months of 2011 as a result of takeout increases there. Instead of bigger purses the result was purse cuts and layoffs. In October, 2011 the local paper in Arcadia, CA where Santa Anita is located reported Santa Anita was cutting one third of its staff.
"None of this would have happened if higher takeout was the answer. Keeneland is doubling down on the same bad idea."
Platt also mentioned that he reached out to Keeneland management beforehand:
"I reached out to Bob Elliston of Keeneland and we had a 90 minute phone call. We discussed the actual outcomes that arose from the above takeout increases. But it became obvious that Keeneland believes players would support a takeout increase because money raised by the takeout increase would be going to bigger purses. I did my best to make it clear that takeout increases lead to the opposite of bigger purses. In the end we agreed to disagree."
Beginning Friday October 6, 2017: Takeout for WIN-PLACE-SHOW wagers at Keeneland will be 17.50%. (An increase of 9.375% vs. last meet's takeout rate of 16.00%.) Takeout for all EXOTIC wagers at Keeneland except the pick5 will be 22.00%. (An increase of 15.79% vs. last meet's takeout rate of 19.00%.)
HANA and Playersboycott.org are asking horseplayers to consider the idea that horseplayers are consumers and that every handle dollar bet at Keeneland is a vote for higher takeout everywhere.
HANA and Playersboycott.org are asking horseplayers to send a clear message by not betting one track, Keeneland, for one month, October 2017. Thatís it.
Platt finished with the following message to horseplayers:
"Join us. Together we can convince Keeneland to reverse their decision."