Why Horse Racing is so Popular Among Punters

horses racing popular sport

Why Horse Racing is so Popular Among Punters?

Something we Brits enjoy is betting on horse racing, and it is no wonder. Because of its bringing together horses and people along with gamblers, it is a unique combination for both betting fans and horse lovers.

Betting on horse racing: how it all started

For many centuries, wagering on horse racing has been one of the most popular gambling activities in the world. 

The first major equestrian event was England’s first Derby in 1780. The derby is still considered the world’s most prestigious race in horse racing. At that time, the modern form of horse racing began to take shape.

The modern kind of betting on horse racing began in the world of galloping in the late 1790s, when the bookmaker Harry Ogden was the man who pioneered the form of betting that bookmakers offer nowadays, namely fixed odds betting. 


In the 1860s, the French engineer Pierre Oller invented what is now known as the totalisator. The totalisator involves variable odds, where the final odds are calculated on how much of the total turnover of the race has been bet on the winning horse.

The internet has been a major contributing factor to its increased popularity

Although for many years you could (and still can) turn to a physical bookmaker to bet on horse racing, it is impossible to overlook how much the internet has meant to the industry.

In the past, betting, as mentioned, took place mainly at bookmakers – that is, shops where you could go and place bets. The bookmaker set the odds, took care of the money, and paid you if you won. Nowadays, this process is in many cases done entirely online. 

The growth of betting sites has meant that players are also getting better odds because the rivalry between the operators is bigger. Thanks to betting sites, the range of betting alternatives has also increased. Today you cannot only bet on British horse racing events, but equestrian events from all over the world.

The Internet has now made online betting, whether on a smartphone, tablet, or computer, the norm. It has also opened up other technological solutions such as live betting, where bets can be placed in the middle of a race or betting with several different online bookmakers. In the past, it was most common to bet with a single bookmaker, but today there is a plethora of online betting sites to choose from.

Bonus offers have also meant a lot to the industry

In the context of the digitised betting world, bonuses have also become incredibly important. Odds bonuses, which are also offered many times on horse racing betting sites, are not available at physical bookmakers. This has made many people turn to online bookies instead; not to mention that people who have never bet on horse racing before are now starting to do so when they know that there are the generous bonus offers to claim.

Odds bonuses can vary greatly from betting site to betting site, but basically, they have the same purpose: the betting site attract more betters (and therefore more money), and punters get more money to play for.

A common type of bonus on betting sites that offer odds on horse racing is free bets. This type of bonus means that you receive a sum of money from the operator to place a bet. In most cases, if you win the free bet you place, you only get to keep the net winnings from your bet.

This means that if you win your bet, you will not get your stake back from the free bet. However, if you do get your initial stake back on a winning free bet, you can treat it as a regular bonus, and thus earn it back in the same way as you do with a regular bonus.

There are thousands of bookies to choose from

Another contributing factor to the extreme growth of trotting in the world of betting is simply that new betting sites are popping up all the time. As mentioned earlier, there is a plethora of betting sites, and things are not expected to slow down; with more people than ever looking at how to become a bookie so as to get in on the action too. As we spend more and more of our time online, digital activities are becoming increasingly popular. Today, you can even bet on virtual races online!

However, this does not mean that betting on traditional horse racing will stop. Rather the opposite. There is a charm to horse racing that is impossible to replace – at least that is what we think at the time of writing. Seeing beautiful horses trained to run in different races is an unbeatable beautiful thing, and spicing it up by placing bets on the odds will hardly become less exciting in the future. Not as gambling has been shown to increase even in recent years.

The plethora of bookies also means that the competition in the industry is growing bigger, making it more advantageous for you to bet than ever before. The various bookmakers are competing to attract the most players by offering the best odds, the best bonuses, and the widest range of betting options.

Governments do more to provide safe gambling experiences

As gambling addiction becomes more widely recognized and talked about, and gambling is an activity that is becoming more widespread, governments around the world are doing more to ensure that gambling takes place under fair conditions.

In the UK, it is the UK Gambling Commission that licences and regulates the people and businesses that offer gambling in the UK. They focus on the public, gambling businesses, and licensing authorities with three main objectives. Firstly, they allow gambling if the company in question prevents gambling from becoming a source of crime, being associated with crime, or being used to support crime. Secondly, gambling must be conducted fairly and transparently, and thirdly, children and other vulnerable groups must be protected from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

Because the gambling market in the UK is so tightly regulated, betters can feel more secure, although they still bear the main responsibility themselves.

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