Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Calder Casino

Arriving at Calder Race Course for the breeze show before the Fasig-Tipton Calder sale last week, I turned into the main entrance off Unity Blvd. and saw.....the Calder Casino. Where last year there was only parking lot CDI has thrown up a building that looks like--well, actually, it looks like a green and yellow warehouse. A gambling palace it isn't.

Sign on the top of the building says Calder Casino. If you make your way around the warehouse to the back of the racecourse grandstand, the sign says Calder Casino. Well, okay, let's drive on around to the paddock side on the eastern end of the grandstand.....Calder Casino. Wait a minute is the track still there? Yep. But you'd never know it from the signage anywhere on the racecourse buildings.

In fact, Calder does not even want horsemen entering what used to be the main entrance anymore. They have opened up what used to be a deliveries access road around the southern perimeter of the property onto Unity Blvd. and undesirables like us are supposed to head to the grandstand and stable area via that two-lane entrance as opposed to the wide, four lane expanses of the redesigned entrance to the casino.

That tells you all you need to know about the ultimate future of slot machines funding horse racing. They may be a short term necessity, but anyone who believes the companies that own "Racinos" won't kill off the race part of that neologism as soon as they dare is living in an alternate reality. All you have to do is read the signs.


  1. racing is in pretty good shape in australia,thanks to the offcourse betting shops (totalizator boards licenced by the states) who take out around 18% of the turnover for operational and other costs, from this 18% is laid a levy to the relevent racing authorities for subsidisation of stakesmonies,if we never had a system like
    that operating the bigger states would not be
    racing for a minimum 50-60K prizemoney on saturdays, which is our main racing day although we do have racing on evryday of the week as well as public holidays
    what we call provincial racing is carried out in the main centres away from state capitals and prizemoney there is around 10-15k
    i dont know what the prizemoney would be here if we never had the levies paid to support racing, most certainly not at the levels that it is now and most certainly not from nominations and acceptance fees

    take 2

  2. We see this happening at Prairie Meadows in Iowa right now. The first "racino" that ever existed. State legislation prevents Prairie Meadows from killing racing, so intead they are cutting back days and making it harder and harder for horsemen to bring their stables there. In a few years they can go to the state and exclaim that they did their best to create the best racing program in the midwest, but they just can't fill the races any longer.... RIP Prairie Meadows RACETRACK 2014.