It’s the worst kept secret ever heard, the ponies are sick and many of them have already been put to pasture. I’m talking about the horse racing industry, one of the oldest forms of betting, and it is struggling almost everywhere. Read more.
People will tell you that it’s not so much a decline as it is the industry is not as dominant as it used to be. Well, that would constitute a decline in my estimation. In the UK, they’re charging a horse racing levy fee on online gambling operators. Let me rephrase that, in the UK they’re taxing the piss out of online gambling operators causing many to flee offshore. Well, those that thought they escaped the tax, well guess again. Read more.
In Australia, legislators are also thinking of following the UK’s lead and start shaking down online gambling companies for horse racing funds. Read more.
In many parts of the US, they’re taking a more gimmicked approach by lobbying to add slots and video gambling machines to racetracks, obviously because they can’t tax online gambling, because they’re too far behind and haven’t legalized it yet. They’re a little slow, they just got universal health care, this is all very new stuff to them.
The problem is obvious and everyone knows it, but no one has seemed to be able to tackle it head on. The younger generation doesn’t give a shit about horse racing. Try asking an average nineteen year old male who won the Preakness last year? You’ll be lucky these days if he knows what the hell the Preakness even is. For some reason, horse racing never caught on with the younger generation. My guess is because most of these young cats stay indoors all the time on their computers watching porn or playing X-box 360, facebook or whatever else they do. And if they are going on the computer to bet, it will be on the major sports NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. If they’re not using online gambling for sports bets, they’re more likely to be playing online poker before they even think about making some wagers on the ponies. As for actually visiting a racetrack, unless Grandpa or their old man is taking them, they’re not going on their own.
Sure, horse racing has suffered from the fierce competition, but it hasn’t kept up with the times and that’s a fact. Only now in Britain are they trying to implement programs to reach out to university students with the Race For Change initiatives.
Here’s the thing, if you want the younger generation to care about horse racing you need to spice it up a little.
Where’s the scandals? Yeah, everyone hears about the betting scandals, but that’s not all that exciting as much as it is, expected and detrimental. I’m talking about owner scandals, breeders scandals, heck, I’m even talking about jockey scandals and a stripper or two never hurt, just ask Mr. Woods and PGA after their Masters ratings.
Young people want to hear that this jockey is sleeping with this other jockey’s wife. They want to hear that this thoroughbred knocked up this other Philly, while she was breeding with that colt and now they don’t know who baby daddy is. That’s the type of bullshit they want to hear about. The thing is, horse racing is a sport of gentlemen, a sport of class and affluence, that type of fluff for the masses isn’t endorsed in the world of mint juleps and large hats.
Perhaps this is the image that needs to be portrayed and sold to death. Just like Grey Goose Vodka has people thinking their living the highlife every time they pour a glass, so to must the lifestyle of affluence and high roller-ism be sold to the youth, it’s time to pomp up the ponies. Target the youth where they are at the most, online or in front of a TV screen. All you need to do is put a gorgeous girl beside a freaking horse, and instead of a man in a suit, how about a young adult in jeans and a button up and a fist full of cash. Horse racing hasn’t been labeled as “cool” to the younger generations; a generation that waits eagerly to be told what is cool. If it were up to me, I’d pomp up the ponies and make the racetracks the place to be if you have money or if you want to act like you’re a baller or if you just want to be cool. A couple cheerleaders here and there in thongs, a stripper pole here and there, casinos at every track, you know, basic stuff. Worst case scenario, you end up having some street thugs making it rain on some ho’s in the grandstand. Which, isn’t all that bad.
Yeah, maybe a bit over the top, that’s me, but the racing industry needs to find a happy medium and fast.