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Why Harness is heading One Way. Sad but True


Addington
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Much has been written recently about Woodend etc, the plunges, earlier  trainer /driver charges and whether they damage the integrity of the sport in terms of punter participation.

Well here are some turnover numbers i observed from Saturday.

Invercargill Cup day--- 700K

Riccarton Gallops----2 ,100,000K

The biggest Ozzie operator turnover at Methven yesterday averaged about 4000 per race. This includes Win ,Place Trifectas, Quinellas as well as First 4's and early Quaddie. They covered only 4 races

Turnover on the first at Ellerslie just about beat the above 4 races by itself. Are we seeing a pattern here and TB's think they have issues

Edited by Addington
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  • Addington changed the title to Why Harness is heading One Way. Sad but True
7 hours ago, Addington said:

Invercargill Cup day--- 700K

Methven turnover will be heralded soon enough as it always is. And rightly so in comparison to other meetings.

Have they produced the spreadsheet of turnover at all meetings recently? I haven't seen it for awhile.

It is shame NZ harness can't capture Aussie interest. Maybe the scenery is not an enough to entice.

Riccarton is 2.1? I thought South Island gallops was like palmy trots.

 

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29 minutes ago, Happy Sunrise said:

Riccarton is 2.1? I thought South Island gallops was like palmy trots.

The bonus bet promos have certainly helped Riccarton drive turnover. Races 1 to 4 inclusive, returning a refund in the form of a bonus bet, if your runner finishes 2nd, 3rd or 4th.

Gives punters something to chase, and they have more confidence in betting into the markets, as the gallops don't tend to have 23 start maidens come out and win paying $3.50 after recent atrocious form. 

Two key ingredients for punter participation, are promos and confidence (trust). Something the gallops have a lot more of than harness at the moment.

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If you think gallops is going well, that's a long way off the mark. They wouldn't make enough from their turnover to cover 20% of their funding.

All NZ racing is in the shit - and being supported as a beneficiary by virtue of revenue generated outside NZ racing by NZ TAB.

Aussie turnover on NZ racing isn't going to make much difference since they only get the negotiated race field fees on that money. 

The issue for all NZ racing is going to be when a government decrees that the money they are earning from non-NZ racing, seems a stupid idea to be used to prop up an industry that is generating very little GDP. In the meantime, might as well enjoy what we have as luckily the government(s) are too stupid to understand what is happening, and things like revenue from NZ racing is not going to change sufficiently to ever change that situation.

If NZ racing was part of an actual real business, the business owners would have cut it off long along. Putting all your net revenue towards a venture that returns next to nothing is poor business.

Edited by mardigras
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15 minutes ago, mardigras said:

If you think gallops is going well, that's a long way off the mark.

I think you have missed the point i was making . TB's although battling are doing way better than Harness. The latter looks to me to be in terminal decline in NZ as punters continue to leave in droves.

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1 minute ago, Addington said:

I think you have missed the point i was making . TB's although battling are doing way better than Harness. The latter looks to me to be in terminal decline in NZ as punters continue to leave in droves.

I'm not convinced they are doing better. What metric are you using to suggest that. They don't have to earn as much revenue as gallops as they don't receive as much funding.

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I and many of my punting homies have predominantly moved our punting dollar to gallops from harness. Still have a go on the trots, but not as much. Gallops is in my opinion, and a few others, is eatting into the harness market share. No official stats to back that up. It's just from our own experiences. 

Addington makes the point of punters leaving in droves (from the harness code). I tend to agree, if my circle of friends and family are anything to go by. TAB retail operators have also shared the same viewpoint. They didn't say "droves" but a noticeable decline. Perhaps it's the shift to gallops. Or sports betting, or to online betting. Or people just tightening their belts a bit with the cost of living increasing at the fastest rate in decades. 

Edited by Rusty
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2 minutes ago, Rusty said:

I and many of my punting homies have predominantly moved our punting dollar to gallops from harness. Still have a go on the trots, but not as much. Gallops is in my opinion, and a few others, is eatting into the harness market share. No official stats to back that up. It's just from our own experiences. 

Addington makes the point of punters leaving in droves (from the harness code). I tend to agree, if my circle of friends and family are anything to go by. TAB retail operators have also shared the same viewpoint. They didn't say "droves" but a noticeable decline. Perhaps it's the shift to gallops. Or sports betting, or to gallops. Or people just tightening their belts a bit with the cost of living increasing at the fastest rate in decades. 

So anecdotally, people are leaving harness. The same applies to NZ gallops. Most of my punter mates are leaving punting on NZ gallops.

I could understand punters moving to a more attractive product. I'd see that as being offshore gallops or sports. So if the shift is from harness to Oz gallops, likely expected. Just the same as NZ gallops to Oz gallops. A better product with more punter trust.

It's why the revenue generated by NZ racing is so low - and never been lower. And why they are now so heavily subsidised from revenue earned outside of NZ racing.

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You can't build a business plan on anecdotal stuff

Perhaps some proper consumer research into what the public think of horse racing

I've posted this before, but some was done years ago in NZ, sorry I can't find it, but I definitely read it.  In a nutshell, the perception was, that the racing industry is crooked, slanted towards those already in it, so any new comers are at a disadvantage, whether they be punters or owners.

The only positive thing to come out of the research, was that a day at the races scored highly

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7 minutes ago, Hesi said:

You can't build a business plan on anecdotal stuff

That's for sure.

The business plan that was implemented has proven itself to be a major driver of lost interest in local racing. That is without doubt. The single biggest contributor being the commingling decision, and the requirements that came with that.

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Just now, Hesi said:

Can you explain why, about the commingling

I can. And this isn't something I am saying in hindsight. I have been saying that commingling would kill NZ racing since it was announced. Way back in 2006/2007. I had many discussions on it, and it gives me no great pleasure to say it has resulted in precisely what I stated would happen. 

To understand the implications of commingling requires those involved to understand betting markets (and population behaviour). The powers in NZ didn't understand betting markets, and they still don't.

Nearly every one I saw write on commingling would state how great it would be. I wouldn't expect most to understand why it was never going to work. I will write about it in a new topic soon.

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46 minutes ago, mardigras said:

I could understand punters moving to a more attractive product. I'd see that as being offshore gallops or sports. So if the shift is from harness to Oz gallops, likely expected. Just the same as NZ gallops to Oz gallops. A better product with more punter trust.

100% agree. Also with the aussie gallops, the presentation of the product is a class above, which is just one further aspect that makes it a more attractive option too. 

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3 hours ago, mardigras said:

What metric are you using to suggest that.

For starters

Invercargill Cup day--- 700K

Riccarton Gallops----2 ,100,000K

As in last Saturday purely an example .

Better still look at Harness share of RacingNZ payout versus  TB's. Clue Total budgeted Payout by TAB of 170 where HRNZ accepted  46 mio  then the Chair says they need to improve export earnings. Methven on Sunday's numbers which i posted above, cant say  that was  a home run for harness either . I'm painting a picture here and if you disagree sobeit . Heads in the sand stuff if  you ask me.

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1 hour ago, Addington said:

For starters

Invercargill Cup day--- 700K

Riccarton Gallops----2 ,100,000K

As in last Saturday purely an example .

Better still look at Harness share of RacingNZ payout versus  TB's. Clue Total budgeted Payout by TAB of 170 where HRNZ accepted  46 mio  then the Chair says they need to improve export earnings. Methven on Sunday's numbers which i posted above, cant say  that was  a home run for harness either . I'm painting a picture here and if you disagree sobeit . Heads in the sand stuff if  you ask me.

Your picture looks fine to me.

Stakes at Invercargill $139k, stakes at Riccarton $320k.

Net revenue after expenses - I'd be thinking that Invercargill achieved a higher % return compared to funding than Riccarton, given yield% likely lower at Riccarton due to bonus bets. As well as TAB costs around market risk management, broadcasting etc for Riccarton compared to Invercargill.

I don't know the net revenue numbers after expenses, but I would estimate that Invercargill got about $35k (fluctuating due to fixed odds results), and Riccarton around $63k.

If I was even close, that would be around 25% of the stakes for Invercargill, and 20% of the stakes for Riccarton. But I'm probably wrong and the numbers are more likely higher for Invercargill and lower for Riccarton.

And can you point us to where these turnover numbers are available? Are they broken down into fixed odds/tote etc?

 

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1 hour ago, mardigras said:

Your picture looks fine to me.

Stakes at Invercargill $139k, stakes at Riccarton $320k.

Net revenue after expenses - I'd be thinking that Invercargill achieved a higher % return compared to funding than Riccarton, given yield% likely lower at Riccarton due to bonus bets. As well as TAB costs around market risk management, broadcasting etc for Riccarton compared to Invercargill.

I don't know the net revenue numbers after expenses, but I would estimate that Invercargill got about $35k (fluctuating due to fixed odds results), and Riccarton around $63k.

If I was even close, that would be around 25% of the stakes for Invercargill, and 20% of the stakes for Riccarton. But I'm probably wrong and the numbers are more likely higher for Invercargill and lower for Riccarton.

And can you point us to where these turnover numbers are available? Are they broken down into fixed odds/tote etc?

 

Its just dawned on me who you might be.. Rod from the bay.

As such no further interest engaging with you. Many have tried but none have succeeded

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1 minute ago, Addington said:

Its just dawned on me who you might be.. Rod from the bay.

As such no further interest engaging with you. Many have tried but none have succeeded

I'm not from the bay. But it bothers me zero if you don't respond. Actually, I probably prefer that. Head/sand and all that.

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2 hours ago, Addington said:

Its just dawned on me who you might be.. Rod from the bay.

As such no further interest engaging with you. Many have tried but none have succeeded

It's usually only because he has most of his data lined up and a clear sense of logic.  I tend to avoid it also, because I know I will only get beaten up lol

If you came from the other channel, you should be used to it anyway.

My only comment is that he is very pragmatic.

Why do you say that Hesi.  Well, we can mainly see that racing does not generate the income alone off racing wagering.  Fortunately the Racing Act protects racing, but that can't last forever.  Mardi's suggestion, is that stake money should reflect what they generate, less costs.  This would effectively kill racing, so subsidisation needs to continue, until enough critical mass is achieved.  If that can ever happen

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27 minutes ago, Hesi said:

If you came from the other channel, you should be used to it anyway.

Thought you had figured it out. Its JJ. Hey JJ 👋

I get your drift Addy. What you are trying to say is that certain things are damaging punter & newbies confidence in Harness which is already on the down. YES agree with you.

Think what Mardigas is trying to say is for e.g. 1 rents a a commercial space & it costs $1000 a week, another rents for say $400 a week. This imagination. So the 1 whose rent is $1k has to make more to cover. Altho racing etc is obviously different.

So both Addy & Mardy are right in what they are saying 👍

Edited by karrotsishere
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4 minutes ago, karrotsishere said:

Thought you had figured it out. Its JJ. Hey JJ 👋

I get your drift Addy. What you are trying to say is that certain things are damaging punter & newbies confidence in Harness which is already on the down. YES agree with you.

Think what Mardigas is trying to say is for e.g. 1 rents a a commercial space & it costs $1000 a week, another rents for say $400 a week. This imagination. So the 1 whose rent is $1k has to make more to cover. Altho racing etc is obviously different.

So both Addy & Mardy are right in what they are saying 👍

Not sure, is it?

In all of the debates you guys are having, the issue is not really whether there is proof or not, it is the perception that the punter has in terms of wagering, and the public from a point of view of getting involved in the industry

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11 minutes ago, Hesi said:

Not sure, is it?

In all of the debates you guys are having, the issue is not really whether there is proof or not, it is the perception that the punter has in terms of wagering, and the public from a point of view of getting involved in the industry

It is Im sure. Great he is here anyway 😄

Take a read of the report Enteebee has just dropped on another thread called read it and weep, VERY good read.

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29 minutes ago, Addington said:

I'm certain it isnt but each to their own

Hmm ok then. Just thought that as both All Stars fans, both had same thoughts on Stellar Delight, & Woodend Beach, both have same viewpoint on this topic, both use the term Jaffas. JJ suddenly vanished from another site, then Addy appears here. Both bet on Aussie TAB can't remember name, both had same view on High Flying Harry, amongst other similarities. Maybe you have a twin 😄

But all good. Gotta go put dins on.

Nite ALL.

Edited by karrotsishere
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2 hours ago, Hesi said:

Not sure, is it?

In all of the debates you guys are having, the issue is not really whether there is proof or not, it is the perception that the punter has in terms of wagering, and the public from a point of view of getting involved in the industry

I stopped betting on Harness back in the 80's, when Roy and Barry Purdon were ruling the roost, along with Peter Blanchard, because my perception was the game was crooked.  I think Blanchard was eventually done for milk shaking and never came back to have anywhere near the success he had.

 

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All I am suggesting is that there really isn't any detailed information to say whether the decline in harness interest is at a greater rate than gallops. I haven't seen anything that seems to be strongly supporting that idea.

The TAB have largely ceased providing the level of detail they have previously done.

But the level of betting on NZ harness compared to NZ gallops has been very consistent through to 2019. If it has suddenly dropped away the last two years, then you likely have to do a OIA request to find out for sure.

A bigger issue for me would be that betting through NZ TAB on NZ races in unadjusted $ terms, dropped 15% between 2006 and 2018. The same % drop for both gallops and harness.

And that tote betting through NZ TAB in NZ races in unadjusted $ terms, dropped 50% between 2006 and 2018. The same % drop for both gallops and harness.

If you adjusted those using the RB CPI calculator, the effective drop in tote is over 60% adjusted $ volume between 2006 and 2018.

The miracle of commingling I guess.

Edited by mardigras
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