Sunday, February 15, 2009

This Could Be...ah...Awkward...

For those of you that don't know, in addition to putting together partnerships I also sell slot machines. I've disclosed this before, but I just wanted to get this out of the way up front of this post because I am going to be wishy-washy and a half even though I've spoken on behalf of racinos in this space in the past. Most recently - and really the only public pronouncement I've made on the subject - I spoke for the ballot initiative in Maryland. There is a movement afoot now to create a racino (or two) right here in Minnesota and I know that folks are going to look to this space to get a local horseman's reaction to this. I will disappoint on this front and I'm letting you all know that up front and here is why:


I sell slot machines. I'm actually in a sales management position for a slot machine manufacturer and on the one hand expanded gaming always helps the slot business, on the other hand these two proposed racinos sit in the path of two of my best current customers: the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and the Shakopee Mdewakonton Sioux Community. There is a possibility that these two Native communitys' four casinos could be adversely impacted by racinos at Canterbury Park and Running Aces Harness Park. Perhaps they could work together and create entertainment zones, especially in Shakopee given the proximity of what would be the racino and the Native casinos, or perhaps it is a potential train wreck. I don't know the impact ahead of time.


So here I sit, a thoroughbred owner that could benefit by increased purses and even better racing at Canterbury Park should a racino be implemented but also a casino manufacturing executive whose current customers could be adversely affected by such a development. So I am going to sit on the sidelines as this issue moves forward. They'll be a lot said, both for and against and valid points on each side. With both my hats I will monitor developments and stay neutral. Should racinos come to Minnesota, my company can't not sell them slot machines - it would be a violation of our fiduciary responsibility to our shareholders - but by the same token I will not encourage potentially damaging competition to my current customer base no matter the personal impact.


Yup, this is could be an awkward situation but I won't let it become one. Until this issue is resolved, just call me Switzerland.

5 comments:

Betting Fan said...

Good luck with it all. Sounds pretty awkward. I was once in a situation like that myself and thankfully it didn't end too badly.

Sandra Warren said...

So far this series seems to have simply re-discovered all the usual things said about jockeys: accidents, flipping and cutting weight, and trudging discouragingly through the barn area hustling mounts. I'd like to see them show some behind-the-scenes conversations about doing business: having a trainer give instructions, then seeing the situation make those instructions impossible during the race, then how the jockey deals with telling the trainers and owners why it didn't work out, and then...what the jockey says privately AFTER they walk away. And I'd like to see one of their agents in the act of to spinning a trainer. Like D Wayne says, all an agent needs to do business is to have a program, a pencil, and the ability to lie.

One thing about this "documentary" called "Jockeys" is that much of it is staged. Trevor Denman's calls are obviously dubbed. He would never humilate a jockey by mentioning that she's last yet again. Jockey Stra is shown pitching into the dirt in a fuschia-pink set of silks, but when she supposedly comes back from the ambulance, she is shown taking off a dark burgundy set of silks. I find myself watching sharply for any other aspects that might shade the bare truth for convenience.

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't know if the neutral position is such a good idea for you. The way I see/hear it is that if Canterbury's purses stay or get any lower you won't have to worry about any racing in Minnesota. Horsemen are going to the biger purses. I've heard that there is a big barn that might not be coming back this year...

Ted Grevelis said...

Thanks, Betting Fan. I'm working toward making the best out of it.

Sandra - there are certainly a lot of flaws with the series, but I can see where they would concede the truth in certain events for the convenience of the masses that may not be as aware of the racetrack as we are. From what I gather the ratings are solid so if we can get a few more fans over it, I'm OK with some shading as long as it doesn't cross the line into outright lying.

Anon - well, until such point as I'm taking care of my family with horses rather than slots, the regular paycheck and benefits take precedent over the two or three horses I'll have running at Canterbury this summer. I hope racing remains, but I can't jeopardize my livlihood on making that happen. I guess if the worst case scenario you present occurs, I will race where I can if I can't race here.

To All - thank you so much for reading and especially taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it.

G. Rarick said...

You sell slot machines? Cool! Bring back coins!! Vegas just hasn't been the same since the slots have been spitting out paper receipts instead of the real thing. And the sound of fake coins coming out of the speakers just doesn't do it. Sorry, my comment has nothing to do with racing vs. slots. I just got a little excited there....