Details of Betting Desired.: Kentucky Racing Commission May be Asked to Pass Rule Requiring Announcement of Mutuel Totals., Daily Racing Form, 1910-05-22


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DETAILS OF BETTING DESIRED. Kentucky Racing Commission May Be Asked to Pass Rule Requiring Announcement of Mutuel Totals. j Lexington. Ky.. May 21. — The announcement that the management of the Churchill Downs track has decided not to give out tor publication the totals of tin- sabs of |mio1s through the pari lnutiiel machines has not lM-en well received by the betting public, and It would not be surprising if the Ken tucky State Racing Commission is asked to adopt a rule that will give the investors in the niiituels all the information aliout the lietting which is now reserved. In I rai and in all other countries where the pari mutiuls an in o|H-ration. exeept in Kentucky, the totals of the sales are made known, not only at the time of the closing of each race, but at various stages during the selling. It has been said by those in control of the tiacks and the betting in Kentucky that the system of totalization automatically as in Australia would not lie practical here. In the obi days of the opera lion of the machines iu this country the owners of the tracks and the managers of the betting rings gave all poaalhle publicity and i-ourted the closest scrutiny of the cal-iiilations and the returns. It was the custom at all tra.-ks to |K st on a blacklioard in the lM-tting enclosure the number of tickets sold on each horse in every race immediately after the selling on the respective races had concluded. At sonic tracks, notably at Butte and Anaconda, when Ed A. Tipton was managing the Montana circuit for Marcus Daly, the calculations were made on a blacklioard in plain view of the spectators. Have Honey ma n. it will he reinemlieriMl by the old-timers, was the most exi»ert of such calculators in that day and time and his reputation lor speed and accuracy was nation-wide. Further back still. Professor Dromell. who. it may Is- said, introduced the pari-inutuel system into Kentucky, not only had his calculations posted to the public view, -but the blacklioard Isire a standing offer of SMS reward to the person who could discover a mistake iu the figures. Since the reinstatement of the machines on the Kentucky tracks in 190S there has never been any posting of the number of tickets sold at any point on the racing grounds for tin- public view. The people have had no way to determine the totals, unless they took them from the machines at each cb sing. The calculations are made in the offices at the track and only the amounts that the winning straight, place and show tickets pay are publicly posted. There exists an impression in some quarters that the track managers have as a motive in concealing the earnings a desire to keep down public discussion of the recent request that the State Racing Commission sanction the taking of seven tier cent, instead of five per cent, in commissions from the mutuels. It was the plea of the representatives of the tracks before the State Racing Commission that it was not poaalhle to make a reasonable profit at five per cent, and that it permitted to charge seven per cent. $:00 purses could be increased to 00 and so on up. So they could have been. Such, aat .increase in purses represented only a small percentage of the increase of two per cent, in commissions. The purses could have been increased at five per cent, commission and a good profit would have remained, even at the Lexington meeting. That this is trua. witness the announcement of the Louisville management that beginning with Monday there is to be a voluntary increase of purses. Combining the commissions and the "breaks" — the "breaks" being the odds cents remaining after the amount to be paid per ticket has been determined — the tracks are now getting about six per cent, of the money wagered through the pari-muttiel machines. The "breaks" at the Lexington meeting were equal to one per cent, and it is quite certain that at I.ouisville they will be greater. For instance, the total of the straight money on the first race or the first day at the Lexington meeting was .-074: less five per cent, commission .70. equals Sl.M0.3tt. The total amount wagered on Crystal Maid, the winner, was :!. This divided into H.MS.M produced .47 and 20lMi4.!ds. The pav was reckoned .45 to ft, the tickets paving .00 and the tickets 2.25. So the association kept as its break on this total two cents from each .r the «4.. making 2.sti. and the Pactional residue of MS cents making a total of 4.05 in addition to the iiuniuissiiiii of ..70. So the niiituels paid them for this one straight total SM.SB. There were numbers of races here where three and four cent "breaks" occurred. During the Lexington meeting of seven days the total sum wagered through the pari -mutuel machines was 57,407. The commission on this at five per cent, was .S74.S5. The "breaks" amounted to ,555.15. making the aggregate takings If. .in the mutuels liv the association!O. It was authoritatively slated that the sales or auction paahj during this meeting aggregated MS, o.H». The commission on this was ,410.50. making the aggregate earnings from the lietting :!.S40.5O. The expense of operating the ring is said to have ls-en aliout SMS per day. This left the association tll.MS.3S net from the betting. The amount the association had to pay iu slake* and purses not counting, of course, the money paid into the stakes bv the horsemen as entraniel was 4.!HN . So that it will Is- readily seen that the lietting nearly paid the racing program, leaving the money taken at the gate and from privileges for the other expenses of the meeting, the maintenance of the grounds and for profit, w hich latter is said to have averaged nearlv .ooo per .lay. The figures at Louisville are. naturally, proportionatelv larger. The associations are enjoying a prosperity under the pari iniituel system that even the managers lielieved impossible.

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