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Horse Racing has long remained the most popular market for sports betting – why is this?
From the United States, to Europe and the United Kingdom, Horse Racing is far and away the biggest market for sportsbooks located in US casinos, British Bookmaking Shops, and even the online industry. But why is this, and why have more popular sports such as soccer, the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL still not overtaken this archaic form of betting in terms of betting volume and overall revenues?
Just what is it about horse racing that gives it its ever-lasting appeal? The numbers appear to suggest that horse racing is likely to continue holding its number one spot for some time yet, so why is this?
The History of Horse Racing
Whilst it may seem like the stone age to us today, horses were once the most prevalent form of transportation in every country across the globe. Horses were also indispensable for almost every type of business activity, and learning to ride was one of the most popular pastimes amongst both children and adults alike.
When the motor car replaced most of these functions around the turn of the 20th century, literally hundreds of millions of horses became unnecessary more or less overnight. For a time, horses were very cheap – the classic laws of supply and demand applied just as much back then as they do today.
This dramatic oversupply of horses tragically saw many used as a source of food, with the huge remaining supply bred to create extremely fast racehorses, the lineage of which can still be easily traced to the current day.
A Global Phenomenon
Different breeds of horses have different talents – some are great at raw speed. Some are great at jumping. Some are ideal for teaching children to ride. Those children later became jockeys, riding their well-known horses with impressive winning streaks that only improved with dedicated care, extensive training, and practice. Stable owners specialized in breeding winning horses, and with huge races happening worldwide on a regular basis.
It didn’t take long for some individuals to realize that there was big money to be made in racing the very best horses, and a day out at the races is one of the most enjoyable forms of gambling for both sexes – money has the potential to last a full day or even several days at a track such as Cheltenham, rather than just a few hours at a casino.
And just like casino gaming, those with the ability to understand the “form” – the statistics and results published in horse racing media – could easily gain an advantage over the players who chose to just take random stabs on horses with attractive sounding odds instead. Whilst a soccer match has a huge degree of luck involved, those with knowledge of horses and their characteristics have the unique ability to use their ability to decipher this information and use it to their advantage to increase their chances of making a profit.
Skill games will always be more popular than those that rely purely on luck – and horse racing has acquired a reputation as the “sport of kings” – a gambling activity that can offer greater advantages to those in the know than any other.
Legislation and Regulation – An Essential but Often Frustrating Aspect of Modern Gambling
Betting shops have been part of the gambling world in the United Kingdom for decades, but the United States has kept their gambling activities to casinos and other specific deliberately separated from the high street and the prying eyes of younger age groups.
It’s actually a rather interesting dichotomy – whilst in some countries you legally become an adult the moment you turn 16 years of age, Americans are technically still children until the day of their 21st birthday.
A Brief Conclusion
There’s so much more that could be said on this topic, but a day at the races is so much more enjoyable for so many more people than a day at a baseball game or soccer match, and placing the odd wager is also seen as much more socially acceptable within these environments too. Ladies love to dress up to attend a racecourse, and both men and women will often be seen in full formal attire, large hats, and colorful accessories. Horse racing contests provide a fashionable day out that just cannot be replicated by many other sports.
It is for these reasons that we are likely to see betting offers at Unibet for horse racing contests continue to be popular for a long time to come.