Bettors Acting Today For A Better Tomorrow

Got Skills? Want Change?

We Need Volunteers - click here.
Contact Us     Press Releases   News   Links   Volunteer   Join Us on FaceBook   Sign UP/Join Us  

Track Management Makes Major Policy Shift -
Asks TOC for Lower Takeout Rates

Update 7/31/2011:

Press Release January 12, 2011 - click here.

Many players have told us they are already Boycotting. We would like to THANK YOU for your support. Your willingness to take a stand for what you believe in is absolutely showing itself in the handle numbers.

Handle Update 3/23/2011:

On Jan 01, 2011 California Takeout on Exotic Wagers involving 2 or more betting interests (EXA, DD) Increased by 9.7% to 22.68% - giving California one of the highest exacta takeout rates in North America.

On Jan 01, 2011 California Takeout on Exotic Wagers involving 3 or betting interests (TRI, SUPER, Pick3, Pick4, Pick6, Super High 5) Increased by 14.51% to 23.68%.

How YOU can support the boycott:
  • For many players supporting the boycott means not betting California thoroughbred races at all (not even looking at California past performances.) If everyone does this they would have no choice but to start listening to players (and lower the takeout) immediately.

  • For many players this means shifting play to thoroughbred tracks outside of California... tracks that are trying to earn player business by offering better deals/reduced takeout on selected wager types.

  • For others it means betting WIN PLACE SHOW only and boycotting exotic wagers (where the takeout has been increased.)

  • For some players it means betting offshore (where their money doesn't go into the pools.)

  • For others it simply means scaling back and betting less overall on California thoroughbred races than you otherwise would have.

  • For a few it means volunteering some free time, donating money, or simply telling other players about the Boycott effort.

We realize not all players are equal in what they are willing to do to make positive change happen. However, collectively, your participation in the CALIFORNIA HORSE RACING BOYCOTT (each of you in your own way) will help shine a very public spotlight on the actions of the CHRB and TOC and help bring about much needed change.


Q. Who is behind the boycott effort?

A. Players who believe "enough is enough" who are willing to stand up for what they believe in.

The question isn't: "Do you support a boycott?" The question really is: "Do you support raising takeout as being a smart business move for the sport of horseracing?" It's not about a boycott, it's about pointing out to the industry that raising takeout is driving the business into the ground.

We want to emphasize that the purpose of the Players’ Boycott isn’t to punish or destroy racing in California. Just the opposite is true. We are boycotting to create a better tomorrow.

We believe the actions of racing’s decision makers have been destroying racing in California, and elsewhere, for years.

If you take all sources handle today in 2010, and adjust it for inflation, and then compare it to all sources handle in 2003, you will notice that handle today is approximately half of what it was just seven years ago in 2003.

By supporting the CALIFORNIA HORSE RACING BOYCOTT effort, you can help us put a stop to this trend.

Note: We are not calling for a players' boycott of Cal Expo. Cal Expo recently said "no" to increased harness takeout and recently reduced their takeout on selected wagers.

Q. Why California?

A. The fact that other states have takeout even higher than California’s new 23.68 percent takeout on trifectas is irrelevant.

California is where the CHRB ignored the facts related to the Los Al takeout increase.

When the CHRB voted the Los Al takeout increase in, they used revenue projections that said handle would be unaffected by the takeout increase.

HANA testified at the January, 2010 CHRB meeting and told the Commissioners of the CHRB that handle at Los Al would be adversely impacted by a takeout increase.

During the 6 month period immediately following the Los Al takeout increase, year over year on track handle at Los Al was down more than 27%. Concrete evidence to substantiate that fact was presented to the CHRB and was made part of the CHRB's July, 2010 meeting package. Yet the CHRB voted unanimously to EXTEND the Los Al takeout increase.

Shortly after that, California track operators, the TOC, and the head of the CHRB lobbied the California legislature for a thoroughbred takeout increase - again over player objections.

California is where the Legislature ignored the voice of the player and passed that takeout increase. California is where the Governor ignored the voice of the player and signed Senate Bill 1072 into law.

California is where officers of the state entrusted by the state with protecting the wagering public made the following comments after they enacted the takeout increase:

CHRB Commissioner David Israel:

Quote From The Official CHRB News Release Summary 9-23-2010 CHRB Meeting:

“People often say we are competing with the casinos. I think that’s shortsighted and wrong. We’re not competing with casinos. We’re in the entertainment business. We’re competing with the Dodgers and the Giants and the Angels and the Lakers and we’re putting on a show..."

CHRB Commissioner Keith Brackpool:

Quote From The Official CHRB News Release Summary 9-23-2010 CHRB Meeting:

Midway through the meeting, Chairman Brackpool received a text message from the Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger indicating that the governor had signed two bills - SB 1072 and AB 2414 - that the Board and industry supported as a means to substantially increase purses and potentially provide a new wagering option for bettors subject to agreement by the major racing interests and a sunset provision.

"This legislation adjusts the takeout on exotic wagers making it comparable with other major racing states and providing for purse increases of as much as 20 to 30 percent in California," explained the chairman. "I think this is the biggest possible boost we could do for the sport right now - getting the purses levels up, particularly in the lower races."

Players attending the 9-23-2010 CHRB Meeting reported that horsemen and track management attending the meeting gave Brackpool a standing ovation after he made that announcement.

I hate to use the word boycott, but in my opinion California racing no longer deserves one penny of my business.

I have to put the question out there to other players:

Hasn't the time come for an organized Players’ Boycott of California Thoroughbred Racing?

Jeff Platt
President, HANA

We ask you to consider carefully the idea that every handle dollar spent on California thoroughbred racing is a vote in support of higher takeout and a vote to support the mistaken belief expressed by the CHRB and the TOC that the customer is irrelevant.

You have a choice when it comes to where you spend your money.

Every handle dollar not bet on the California thoroughbred racing product is a vote for change and a vote to send a very clear message to the CHRB and the TOC:

The customer DOES in fact matter.


Track Management Makes Major Policy Shift - Asks TOC for Reduced Takeout Rates - July 31, 2011
- by

California Horse Racing Boycott - Handle Losses Exceed $100 Million - March 23, 2011
- by

Clock is ticking on California horse racing
- by Art Wilson for The Pasadena Star - News

Price Sensitive
- by Eric Mitchell for The

CA Boycott Getting Noticed, Organizer Says
- by Jack Shinar for The

HANA Targets Takeout Hike, Wants Panel Formed
- by Tom LaMarra - The Blood-Horse:

Group calls for betting boycott of California horse racing
- by Ed Zieralski - San Diego Union Tribune:

Disaster at Santa Anita
- by Bill Finley at

22.68 reasons to boycott Calif. racing
- by Bill Finley at

Wagering declines at Santa Anita are a natural reaction to the scheduled takeout increase
- By Steve Davidowitz:

Get Out the Lifeboats
- By Bill Christine:

California board skews takeout tale
- By Steven Crist at

Message to Racing Industry: Who Pays Your Salary?
This video by Larry Winget (linked to with Winget's permission) should be required viewing for anyone and everyone bestowed with decision making authority in the racing industry. In our opinion, Winget conveys the message perfectly.

23.68 Percent Trifecta Takeout
On 01/01/2011, Thoroughbred Takeout on wagers involving three or more betting interests in California jumped to 23.68 percent - an increase of 14.51 percent over previous levels... Read More click here.

Los Al On Track Handle Off More Than 27 Percent during the six month period immediately following the CHRB mandated takeout increase... Read More click here.

California Racing - Key Areas Where Change Is Needed Most:
  • Takeout - Raising takeout against player objections isn't the answer. Takeout has an optimal pricing point that generates max revenue for tracks and purses. Industry studies and real world case history clearly indicates the optimum pricing point is much lower than current takeout levels.

    Racing's decision makers need to be lowering takeout instead of raising it in their attempt to maximize revenue.

  • We need to change the way California Racing does business.

  • Rebates - The TOC (Thoroughbred Owners of California) is the organization responsible for California's ADW Retention Cap, a state law making it impossible for California residents to obtain rebates (which are readily available to players who live in other states.)

    Section 19604 of the Business and Professions Code states:

    "(5) "Contractual compensation" means the amount paid to an ADW provider from advance deposit wagers originating in this state. Contractual compensation includes, but is not limited to, hub fee payments, and may include host fee payments, if any, for out-of-state and out-of-country races. Contractual compensation is subject to the following requirements:

    (A) Excluding contractual compensation for host fee payments, contractual compensation shall not exceed 6.5 percent of the amount wagered."

    Translated into plain English, the above paragraphs mean that California tracks get to draw a big circle around each track, and everybody unfortunate enough to be living inside the circle is subject to a 93.5 percent wagering tax!

    The law defines the circle as the entire state of California and the "tax" is 93.5 cents out of every $1.00 wagered by a California resident with an ADW. (The ADW gets to keep 6.5% of its California handle and has to fork over the rest to the tracks and horsemen.)

    The effect is that ADWs wanting to innovate and compete for your business can not possibly treat you like they do the residents of other states because they can only keep 6.5 cents out of every wagering dollar bet by the California resident. After paying monthly operating expenses there is not enough room margin-wise to rebate anything back to you the California customer.

    The intent behind the statute is a money grab. But instead of betting into the parimutuel pools (and paying full takeout) California's serious price sensitive players have moved much of their handle out of state (and offshore) where they can and do get rebates.

    Section 19604 needs to be changed to give California's large volume players a reason to return their handle dollars to the parimutuel pools. Until that happens, California players will continue wagering offshore and outside of California's parimutuel pools where their handle dolllars bring no benefit whatsoever to California's tracks and horsemen.

    Note: A conservative estimate is that total North American offshore thoroughbred handle runs into the billions of dollars each year.

  • The Complete and Total Disregard for the player by the Tracks, The CHRB and the TOC must come to an end.

Proudly Sponsored By HANA
Proudly Sponsored by HANA

Player Comments

I hate to use the word "boycott" but in my opinion California Thoroughbred Racing no longer deserves even one penny of my business.
- Jeff P. - Jupiter, FL (US)

I will use the "B" word.

Bout damn time!
- Ralph. F. - Ohio (US)

The time is now.
- Craig M. - Oklahoma City, OK (US)

Southern Cali is my circuit of first choice. It's the circuit I've specialized in and played mostly on track going back 20+ years. This afternoon I read the transcripts of the January 2010 and July 2010 CHRB meetings. The way Platt and Meadow were treated at the July 2010 CHRB meeting coupled with the passage of SB 1072 coupled with Brackpool's comments afterwards cinched it for me.

They no longer deserve my money.

Please organize a boycott and yes count me in.
- Charlie J. - San Diego, CA (US)

The near total disregard of the handicappers time, effort, and financial support of the game has become intolerable... I have dealt with the conditions the sports administrators have imposed for decades, and I refuse to continue being pushed around.
- H.H. - Seattle, WA (US)

Great idea. Long overdue. Thanks.
- Frank D. - Los Angeles, CA (US)

Great post Jeff. I couldn't agree more.
- Mike - NJ (US)

Thanks for your efforts.
- Dennis - Baltimore, MD (US)

i'm in.
- Ed - Sacramento, CA (US)

Thanks guys.
- Pete - Worcester, MA (US)

Love your idea, heres hoping we can make an impact.
- Larry - Boston,, MA (US)

Include me in to "out" CA racing.
- Fred B. - near Boston, MA (US)

I am on board.
- Don - East Troy, WI (US)

Let me know how when and where I can help.
- Richie P. - New Rochelle, NY (US)

- Lou - Staten Island, NY (US)

...Why wouldn't a horseplayer want to join?
- Jens - Santa Rosa, CA (US)

Best of luck in the endeavor!
- Patrick - Denver, CO (US)

Good work initiating this.
- Dale - Oregon City, OR (US)

I'm with you on this.
- J. F. Boston, MA (US)

The CHRB should be LOWERING takeout not raising it.
- Barry from Fallbrook, CA (US)

Will burn my money before betting into their pools.
- Roger K. - Lindenwold, NJ (US)

You are so right!! It's time to "buy bread" some place else!!
- Bruce F. - San Diego, CA (US)

I got a neighbor to support the boycott...

If we all found 3 people to support this boycott then we would have 100's of names just from this forum alone!
- Mike B. - Los Angeles, CA (US)

Love your idea, I live in S. Cali and attend Los Al during the day for simulcasting, I will never make an exotic bet again in California until the take out is lowered considerably, these people are out of control and don't deserve a dime of play with their ridiculous abuse of the bettor. It's time we all tell them to shove it, without us they're out of business and out of a job.
- Jack - Southern Cal

or over the comment box itself. Grabbing the scrollbar to the right of the box will allow you to scroll through the comments.


Copyright © 2010