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SHOULD NTRA TOUT GAMBLING ELEMENT TO SPUR RACING INTEREST?
Published June 2, 1998
NTRA efforts to increase interest in horse racing are examined by Andrew Beyer of the WASHINGTON POST. Beyer writes that "it is hard to imagine that racing will revive itself by imitating other sports" by promoting its horses as "stars" and arranging its races into a championship series. Instead, the NTRA should follow state lotteries and the casino industry, as racing's "greatest potential strength is that it is the most engrossing of all gambling games, and this is a gambling mad country." Beyer: "A realistic vision for racing's future is to bring the product into potential customers' living rooms through telephone wagering, on-line wagering and interactive betting on TV. ... [I]f viewers could click a remote-control device and make a bet on the Belmont Stakes they would get involved very quickly. The industry ought to think about enticing customers this way, and then be prepared to deliver the proper customer service when some of these people show up at a racetrack. The NTRA's leaders are dreaming if they think they can make their sport more like pro golf and pro basketball. They would find a more promising formula if they could force themselves to say: We need to be more like Powerball and Caesars Palace" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/2).