The Connection Between Horse Racing and Gamstop

The Connection Between Horse Racing and Gamstop
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The Connection Between Horse Racing and Gamstop

Horse racing is the UK’s most viewed sport after football. Since the appearance of online gambling platforms, it gained wider coverage allowing punters to bet over several options and markets, even when the race tracks were closed, thanks to virtual horse racing. 

Unfortunately, such accessibility has turned the passion of several in part of the UK’s ongoing gambling issue. To slow down figures the UKGC created Gamstop; a self-exclusion scheme intended to keep people away from the urge of racing through the hurdles of gambling addiction.

Horses and Betting

For many centuries’ horse racing and betting have enjoyed a longstanding relationship, almost as long as mankind mounted horses for the first time. But it was in the once formerly known territories of Britannia where the nobleman leisure was given birth with the record going as back as 631 A.C. Horse racing had such a fascination for British people that even King James I was called by the House of Commons to take reins of the kingdom instead of racing on the tracks of the little village of NewMarket cheered by the commoners. Since then, it became clear that the future of horse racing will not only belong to the higher ranks court but also to people of all classes and origins.

Betting, wherever it was allowed or not, became the sports cornerstone and its major contributor to date. At that point, anyone hardly could imagine that in the future there will be a high demand on betting sites not connected to GamStop among punters in the United Kingdom. The Thoroughbred, UK’s horses by excellence; the handicap betting system; festivals such as Cheltenham and Ascot that gathers more than 200,000 live spectators; and the negotiation of media rights from racecourses and sportsbooks are the foundation to the UK’s most second viewed sport after football.

Online Horse Racing Culture

Since the introduction of the Gambling Act in 2005, online gambling took a massive growth and horse racing wasn’t going to fall back. Punters didn’t only have access to betting sites and wider markets, but also to a major source of information. Dedicated racing punters now exchange their knowledge through online forums and tipster’s sites, enriching more horse racing lore.


However, when the race tracks closed there was still unrest from passionate punters wanting more. The Gambling industry just like Romans once did, was going to give online punters what they demanded: virtual horse racing.

Because of the interest, the UK’s major sportsbooks created the service. Through stats of the horses and conditions of the racetracks, and using a random number generator (RNG) virtual horse racing allowed punters to bet any day and hour on these animated races. The concept quickly was adopted and nowadays moves 25% of all horse racing bets.

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Unfortunately, such success was also rooted in an obscure motif: problem gambling.

A Race to Addiction

Virtual horse racing results are different from the ones in real life. Even using data from the last races and recreating them chances to predict outcomes have a 2% success. Such volatility and the option to skip the 50-second race animation allowed punters to frantically place bets just like any ordinary slots machine.

Although Fixed-odds betting Machines have virtual horse races in every betting shop, they faced a £2 stake cap. However, the betting cap reaches the online service leaving no obstacle, especially with mobile gaming. Since any reliable internet connection is enough to let punters make a bet in any place and moment, this became a major concern not only for the 340,000 problem gamblers in the UK but also for its biggest authority, the Gambling Commission.

Holding the Problem Gambling Reins with GamStop

In 2018 the UKGC  launched Gamstop, a free self-exclusion scheme that allows punters in distress to cool off their urges To ease the addressing of a self-exclusion, the scheme has a very simple registration process wherein just a couple of minutes new user request their cool-off period from 6 months up to five years.  

Once the registration is finished in less than 24 hours users are excluded from every single online operator licensed in the UK, The system also involves the exclusion from land-based sportsbooks. Instead of refraining from enjoying the races, problem gamblers in recovery can be free to enjoy races and festivals alike without the concern of finding themselves in the bookie’s counters as they won’t be allowed to place any bet.

UK’s horse racing has such a wonderful history that can be attributed to gambling for allowing its spread, yet is not necessary to tarnish it with its dangers.  For those who find themselves trapped with problem gambling on horse betting. Gamstop has proved to be a reliable tool to back on and prevent any urge to take control over us, without the need of having to miss the might and speed of these magnificent creatures.



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Author: Suzanne Ashton Founder, Everything Horse email:

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