Letters to the Editor: John Chambers
Thanks for covering the Pompano Park closure and warnings to other racetracks. I am one of the few today who enjoys watching and betting on thoroughbred and harness racing. I’m from the Philadelphia area and have spent many summer weekends at Delaware Park and Brandywine Raceway.
For years both breeds were popular here, but over the years we lost the two main harness tracks, Brandywine and Liberty Bell Park. Even two of our main thoroughbred tracks, Garden State Park and Atlantic City Race Course, are now a thing of the past. But so far we still have both breeds racing locally in Parx, Delaware Park and Harrah’s Philadelphia. So far, although all tracks have casinos, operators have given the races reasonable dates and promotions.
However, all operators seem to pay the most attention to the casino side of the business. If you walk into the casino, you probably don’t even know that horse racing might be going on. Casino games will in most cases always be more profitable for operating companies. The speed of betting and the fact that it operates 24/7 in most states simply by volume will always generate more revenue than live racing which only operates for several hours and not every day , and in many cases not all year round.
Racing now also generates less revenue due to many people staying home and betting off the track. As in the case of Pompano Park where the casino generates the most money and the land on which it is built is more valuable for redevelopment than for racing. It is difficult to justify running a racetrack unless it consistently produces good bets and the operator feels that there are good cross bets between racing and casino operations.
If the race is to continue long term, we need cheerleaders like Gabe [Prewitt] to Pompano who did their best to attract as many bettors as possible to gamble their races. As gamers, we also need to do our part and attend live races on the track as often as possible.
See you on my local tracks.
John Chambers, Lansdowne, Pennsylvania
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This story was posted in Shared News and tagged Paris, casino games, Gabe Prewitt, harness racing, John Chambers, Letters to the editor, Pompano Park, racetrack closure.