Time to Unbridle U.S. Thoroughbred Racetracks? Lessons from Australian Bookies
34 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2011 Last revised: 8 Jun 2016
Date Written: January 1, 2014
We consider a policy reform relaxing price controls in American pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing by examining bookie behavior in Australia's fixed-odds gambling sector. Descriptive regressions indicate that bookmaker takeouts (the effective prices of races) vary substantially and systematically with race characteristics, though in sometimes counterintuitive ways. Estimates of an explicitly reduced form model of bookie takeout, however, qualitatively match both intuition and prior findings in the literature. Counterfactuals using these estimates suggest that regulatory reform that permits racecourses to alter takeout across races would increase variable profit by 3-6%.
Keywords: regulatory reform, gambling, horse racing
JEL Classification: D22, L13, L83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation