Racetracks versus Casino's
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Horse Racing is pretty much my favorite sport and i go out to the track pretty much as often as i can. So why is it that when i walk into a casino instead of a racetrack that i seem to get the royal treatment. People have been complaining about racetracks for years and in my opinion alot of these complaints are justified.
One of the biggest complaints i've had for years are the tellers. I need them to be quick and courteous but have found them to be often times slow and obnoxious. Wouldn't you think that tellers should at least have some knowledge of the wagers you are placing (such as a trifecta or pick 3). Well that is not always the case, i love when i have gone to the window and played some crazy back wheel trifecta and the teller stares at me with a blank look like "what you say??" Better yet i've had many tell me that you can't play that type of ticket and them get angry in the meantime. I've encountered everything from bad manners by racetrack workers (especially tellers). To just general rudeness by staff and management alike. When i have complained to other tellers or management i was simply shrugged off and told that thats the way it is, or the people who own this place don't care. Well if they don't care then why in the hell are they in business then.
The funny thing about it is that when i walk into a casino and sit down at a table, i am immediately welcomed with a smile and open arms. Even if this is a ploy to get my money it makes me feel at least like they want me to be there, instead of i don't care. And it must be working because i keep seeing younger and younger people at casinos, yet at racetracks, it seems like most of the crowd is still the geritol type.
Not only have the racetracks by me not given away anything in years they have jacked up the price of simulcast programs to such a level that it seems like larceny to me. They also continue to charge admission to get in the door. This seems almost obscene to me, how can you possibly justify charging cover to view simulcast races, thats tantamount to charging for television if you ask me.
In a casino however i have never heard of an admission charge, they want you in there at all costs. Even if they have to bribe you with food and beverages. Which is another added bonus of the casino. Just once i'd like to have a free coke at a racetrack instead of a $3.75 one.
Why is there such a divergence between the two, why is one so highly marketed and horse racing just kinda let alone. I don't know the answers but i wish i did, i am really glad to see some of these old racetrack managers fired and some of the tracks closing as they have never done a good job and they don't deserve a license if they continue to treat their patrons like slabs of meet at a butchery.
I hope that the consolidation of the tracks brings some real change, maybe even some real value. It seems to be helping already. I am seeing more and more tracks implement players cards where you earn points back like a casino (churchill downs, the OJC). The tracks that are embracing the internet seem to be doing the most for there customers right now. I think the rest are just gonna fall by the wayside if they don't change their attitudes about how they run they're facilities. Some of the tracks are giving away freebies and have been for some time. (NYRA routineIy has hat or shirt giveaways). There are also some tracks that hold handicapping contests (Sam Houstoun, Deleware Park). We applaud these facilities and hope that they continue to treat the fans with the respect and the treatment that they deserve. Otherwise there is a casino right down the block that will.
Run Horse Run!