SBD/2/Leagues Governing Bodies

SHOULD NTRA TOUT GAMBLING ELEMENT TO SPUR RACING INTEREST?

          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).
          
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