Friday, October 30, 2015

Breeders Cup Provides Crossroads of Business and Entertainment

     As the Breeders Cup weekend approaches, it is clear that various opportunities now exist to not only be a spectator of the “Sport of Kings” but also to become a part of the business.  Sports gaming and most particularly, horse racing, has always had various level of opportunities for participation.  At the simplest level, “spectators” have existed since the days of the Roman Coliseum. But, since then, fans have felt the need to add to the experience by gambling (legal or otherwise) on the event to which they are watching.  Though these two activities have existed for hundreds of years, more recently, it has become obvious the greater participation can be achieved by legitimate business endeavors.

     Business opportunities have expanded which not only provide the excitement of participation but also can be lucrative (or at least affordable).  In horse ownership, rather than purchasing and being responsible for all matters as an individual, a “horse racing partnership” allows fans of horse racing an easy and less demanding pathway to be a part of all aspects of the “action”.  Members of partnerships are not solely responsible for the management decisions regarding their horse or horses to which they own a percentage.  Horse racing partnerships allow those who want greater participation to be involved but do not require the time, money or experience of individual ownership.  Most of the “day-to-day” decisions can be provided by those who manage the partnership and have the experience and background to manage the racing career of the horse(s) and all of the ancillary issues, such as race selection, training, transportation and healthcare.  The members of the partnership can usually decide how much they want to be involved and contribute to the decisions but also can learn all aspects of racing.  Further, the business and investment issues regarding horse ownership, whether individual or in a partnership can be very beneficial if used correctly.  Finally, as most members of partnerships have businesses outside of horse racing, the ability for business development and networking is tremendous.

     Additionally opportunities can be achieved through hospitality opportunities.  Restaurants, bars and local entertainment establishments can provide tremendous venues that can provide business opportunities based on events in sports, such as the Breeders Cup Championship.  As gaming expands, such opportunities in simulcasting of horse racing may become more available to increase the amount of funding into horse racing but also, to increase the business opportunities to the hosting venues.  Much like a Super Bowl parties, local venues can take advantage of the ability to not only provide the hospitality environment but can potentially have the ability to collaborate with “race tracks” to obtain simulcasting rights to increase “brand” and recognition of the venue.  Simulcasting licenses may not be available in all states at this time, but all gaming opportunities are becoming more available as business work with legislatures to provide mutually beneficial collaborations for state tax revenue, race tracks and private business entrepreneurs.

- Joseph DiDonato

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