Pinnacle lowers exotic takeouts

In an email sent out June 3, it was revealed that Pinnacle Race Course will enter its 2010 meet with lower takeouts on exotic wagers.

From the email…

Win, Place, and Show are set by the State at 17%.  All other pools are by track choice.  We have lowered all our other offerings to 20% except Trifectas and Superfectas which have lowered to 25%.

“Takeout” is the portion of money in the final betting pools taken by the track prior to payouts. This is the chief source of revenue for pari-mutuel racetracks, especially those without casino gaming. The lower the takeout, the higher percentage of the betting pools goes back to horseplayers.

The email further elaborates that the move was made in response to the Horseplayers Association of North America, who ranked Pinnacle #68 out of 69 tracks listed in its 2010 track ratings. The HANA track ratings compare North American racetracks by takeout, field size, variety of wagers and the average size of the track’s betting pools.

In 2009, Pinnacle’s takeout for all exotic wagers was set at 27%, except for the daily double’s 20% commission. Among those listed in HANA’s track ratings, Pinnacle skimmed the highest percentage for exacta wagers, and was among the highest in all other exotics but the daily double. The announced changes would place the track in the middle or among the lowest takeouts in every exotic category.

The Michigan Horse Racing Act of 1995 does not include guidelines for minimum takeouts, except for straight win, place and show wagers, which are set at a flat rate of 17%. However, the act does set a ceiling on all other wagers at 28% without written permission of the racing commissioner, and up to 35% with the commissioner’s blessing.

Pinnacle opens its 2010 meet on Saturday, June 5 and will host live racing on Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day Monday through October 31.


Filed under Pinnacle Race Course

6 responses to “Pinnacle lowers exotic takeouts

  1. Otis

    This is FANTASTIC news. Only problem is, this is the only place I’ve heard it. Why didn’t they post this to the website or their Facebook page?

    Saturday, there was a .50 trifecta that paid $600. A good way to get the crowds out is advertise the possibility of winning $600 on a .50 wager.

    Where is the promotion for Pinnacle?

  2. Old Time Race Fan

    I agree that everything was not communicated as well as it could have been. Plus they needed more betting locations and more beer stands and more potties. Lines got pretty long there later in the day.
    Nevertheless, all things considered, it was a great opener. I am not sure who that other Martinez jock is, but he looks like he’ll win his share of races this year.
    It is always a good thing when pari mutuel take is lower.

  3. mibredclaimer

    I found it buried at the bottom of the track’s weekly email announcing all the big simulcast races and dining specials. I absolutely agree that they’ve dropped the ball so far on making their wagering changes public knowledge. Yes, publicity costs money, but how much would it cost to put a graphic up in the simulcast feed (or even scrolling along the bottom of the screen) announcing all of these neat changes?

    Take Beulah’s Fortune 6 wager for example. They put out a few press releases, but in terms of tangible marketing, they mostly stuck with ads in their simulcast & program, viral campaigning (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and word of mouth. At least that’s how I heard about it. That was probably the biggest non-Churchill wager on Derby day, and it probably didn’t cost a king’s ransom to get there.

    Old Time Race Fan,
    I didn’t use the bathrooms there, but I did get shut out at the windows on multiple occasions. I don’t know how it was on the festival tent side, but the patio side could have used one more teller or machine, which they eventually did provide.

    I’d be curious to see the ratio between potential handle lost from people getting shut out vs. the cost to pay additional mutuel tellers, and where the saturation point lies. Sounds like a good project idea for a University of Arizona Racetrack Industry Program student, if any should be reading this.

    I’ve never heard of this new Martinez fellow either. Wonder if he’s out of the same bloodline as Luis “El Presidente” Martinez, Sr. and Jr.?

  4. Otis

    I was very disappointed to see most of the ATM’s from the pavilion patio have been removed. Granted, during very sunny days they were very difficult to use. However, there was one at the end near the wheelchair ramp that was my go to machine when things got busy.

    The number one complaint I heard from people on Saturday was the lack of machines/tellers.

  5. Otis

    Hey Joe,

    The guys from HANA picked this up from your blog posting. Can you forward them a copy of the PNL email? The address is:

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