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Betting Pools Up – But Stakes?

First order of business should be stakes increase

With the advent of the totes having been re-opened, I note a substantial increase in the tote betting pools.

Len Bloch writes as an ‘owner and small time punter’ in the Sporting Post Mailbag.

I have always contended that the bulk of betting pools comes from the R5 and R10 tote punters.

Stake money for races is dependent on tote revenue which,now on the increase, SHOULD MEAN that stake money for ALL races should be increased to at the very least ,what they were at prior to lockdown.

The question,for me, now becomes – how long are the long suffering owners,trainers and jockeys going to have to wait for stakes to be increased?

By choice,even though I reside in Cape Town,I race my last two,of what was 8 horses in PE .

I have had horses in Cape Town and Durban.

The current situation in PE is that, with the exception of ‘feature’ races, all races have a stake of R35 000. Hardly worth the expense of keeping horses in training and even thinking about increasing my string.

The racing authority have not exactly covered themselves in glory over the past year.

Maybe the time has arrived for them to actually do something POSITIVE to encourage more ownership by making the first order of business the INCREASE OF STAKES.

 

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7 comments on “Betting Pools Up – But Stakes?

  1. John Mynhardt says:

    I see this as the single biggest issue in SA racing today.
    One possible solution… there might be others. (Lets here them then). It seems that currently a fixed tax is collected and paid to government on every race. Is this true or am I mistaken ? There needs to be some discussion with government to rather move over to a sliding scale of taxation on a win/place etc pools for every race. There should be meetings between SA racing and government to show how stakes in SA has diminished over the years, and the possible serious long-term effects thereof. I propose lower taxation on smaller pools and higher as pools increase. A race with a total gross pool under 1mil should be taxed a different rate than a total gross pool of 40mil. This ‘refund’ in tax must then make up part of the stakes for that specific race. 95% or more horses in SA is below 100 MR rating. It is these races stakes that should be supplemented with these funds. Government must realize that tax will then be paid anyway downstream by the owners, jockeys, and trainers. This will also intensify government to assist in growing racing. The more government assist racing the more pools increase and the more tax revenue they can collect.

  2. Leon Smuts says:

    A lot of lost ground to make up before stakes can be meaningfully adjusted. Even then we know that this is not just a short term problem but even more so over the longer term to make ownership desirable again for more than just big owners. Agree with Mr Bloch on the importance of the smaller player in the funding cog and very much my thinking in terms of the further expansion of racing and improvements to the funding model.
    Racing needs to move the focus from getting the max out of each player to a program of targeting large numbers of smaller new players. It is and always has been a numbers game and with the foundation needing better numbers for long term improvement. Target entertainment spend with a range of products designed for this purpose and improve the overall demographic composition and size of the sports client base.Stakes will follow any upward curve in pool utilisation and this has to be the longer term objective.

  3. Rod Mattheyse says:

    Leon what is lost ground?

  4. Leon Smuts says:

    Hi Rod. In my estimate the operators have bled to the point of sadly shedding many jobs and mostly ordinary workers who don’t earn mega packages. Once cash flow turns positive and becomes stable and reliable stakes could probably be adjusted but not whilst running at a loss. This is not ideal for owners admittedly but surely peoples livelihoods must take preference at this time. My bigger concern is the longer term route and how to address the funding model for real inflation beating annual benefits for owners.

  5. donald bradshaw says:

    Hi Rod , I know your question was not directed at myself but may I venture an answer ?

    The so called leadership in the industry have lost touch with and do not know their customers who are treated as a necessary nuisance instead of as the blood that keeps the sport alive , growing and paying their nice salaries !

    That is ” lost ground ” that I see no attempt in recovering by said leadership !

    Please do not ask me to quantify my comment as the editor of S.P. will I not permit me to write a book on this platform ?

  6. Garrick Bergh says:

    WRT to stakes – dream on! The industry has massive backlogs to clear before revised stakes are likely to even figure in their calculations. As long as owners are prepared (no matter how reluctantly) to carry on paying keep and accepting the paltry returns the issue of stakes will remain close to the back of the ‘to do’ queue no matter who is running the operation.
    The only effective way for a an owner to deal with the financial side of this problem is by leaving the owner ranks and returning if and when matters improve.

  7. Len Bloch says:

    Garrick,
    I was not going to reply to your comment but the final paragraph hit a raw spot with me.
    My interest in racing is the love of the horse and the game.
    I AM NOT IN FOR FINANCIAL GAIN.
    However,there comes a point in time where financials do become an issue.
    Racing ,as in PE for R35 k would give the winning owner R21K less 10% for trainer,less 10% for jockey,less 1% for groom.
    Do the math.
    The final payout is barely sufficient for two months training etc.
    A very large number of trainers rely on the “small” owners,passionate about the game,to keep their yards going.
    What you suggest,getting out,will decimate trainer ranks.
    Racing does not have a future without the bulk of the bread and butter racing from meeting to meeting.
    You sir have made a very dangerous assumption if your view were to be followed.

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