Setting the odds

Setting The Odds with Mike Tanner

March 13, 2016

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This week, the executive vice-president and CEO of the United States Trotting Association predicts the future of the sport.

Handicap the chances the following will occur:

The USTA will continue to devote the same or increased resources to its social media campaign beyond 2016
— MT: 1/1 “Depends on budget and perceived value. I think we’ll have both.”

The USTA’s social media campaign will be directly responsible for helping recruit new horse owners in 2016
— MT: 3/5 The USTA’s Strategic Wagering program will still be operating in three years — MT: 4/5 “It might be the most popular initiative we’ve launched.”

Horse racing will introduce more comprehensive, universal medication rules in the next three years
— MT: 9/2

Total standardbred foal crop numbers will reverse the current trend and begin to rise within three years
— MT: 15/1

USTA membership will increase in the next three years
— MT: 15/1

The USTA will adopt some variation on Jeff Gural’s stallion rule in the next three years
— MT: 20/1

The USTA will be profitable in five years
— MT: 100/1 – “We’re a not-for-profit organization, so that’s not the goal. I’ll put us at 1/5 to meet budget projections, though.”

The USTA will merge with Standardbred Canada within five years — MT: 50/1 – “There’s never been any discussion about that in the eight years I’ve been here. We’re big SC fans, though.”

Total wagering on harness racing in the U.S. will be on the rise in the next three years
— MT: 5/2

A harness racing event will have total handle exceeding $10 million in the next three years
— MT: 10/1

Commingled wagering with Europe will be a regular occurrence in the next three years
— MT: 9/5 – “I think that depends more on the Europeans than on us, but I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already.”

Foreign earnings and records will be more readily shared and included in USTA data in the next three years
— MT: 1/5 – “We already have commitments from Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand.”

A framework will be established by the USTA in the next two years that tracks and farms can use to run their own owner recruitment campaigns
— MT: 3/1

A fractional ownership program will be established by the USTA in the next two years
— MT: 2/1 – “Working on that at the present time, with soft launches in Ohio and Pennsylvania already.”

The USTA will introduce full electronic registration in the next two years
— MT: 1/20 – “This will debut in the next six months.”

eTrack will be upgraded in the next two years
— MT: 9/5

Something tangible and positive will come from pairing big bettors with track operators at the Wagering Summit in the next three years — MT: 1/1

The USTA will establish a mentorship program for potential owners in the next two years
— MT: 3/2 (Setting The Odds Best Bet)

In the next three years, the industry will pool money to be used on a major marketing program for the sport
— MT: 15/1

The purse of the Little Brown Jug will meet or exceed $1 million in three years
— MT “No idea what the LBJ folks have planned, but it would great to see.”

The USTA will move its headquarters out of Columbus, OH in the next five years
— MT: 100/1 – “We moved barely over a year ago, and that was just across town. We’ve hit our relocation quota.” (Setting The Odds Longshot)

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