Betting on horses is one of the most popular forms of gambling in the United States. Each year millions of dollars are wagered at live racetracks and online racebooks. Why is horse racing betting so popular in America? EZ Horse Betting believes that there are several reasons why this type of gambling endures year after year.
America Has a Colorful Horse Racing History
Throughout the history of horse race betting in America there have been many legendary horses, trainers, and jockeys. The stories of these equine athletes and the humans who care for them are ones many Americans can relate to. Perhaps no one story stands out more than that of Seabiscuit.
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Seabiscuit made an impact on the American racing scene during The Great Depression. The horse became a symbol of hope for people who were struggling to make ends meet. Cast aside as a young horse who had a reputation for laziness, Seabiscuit was languishing when he was discovered by trainer Tom Smith.
Smith had been tasked with finding horses for the new stable of Charles Howard. When he suggested Seabiscuit, Howard could not have been too thrilled. The horse had achieved minimal success and was regarded as a difficult and lazy animal. Howard and Smith took a chance on the horse anyway, and the rest is history. Seabiscuit went on to become a horse racing legend, and horse racing betting in America thrived while he ran.
But there is more to the story than that. The three men who had the most impact on Seabiscuit’s career had their own stories. Smith was ill-regarded by many as a trainer and living in a state of poverty before Seabiscuit came along. Charles Howard was a broken man who had suffered the loss of his son young son and a divorce. Red Pollard, the jockey who rode Seabiscuit for much of his career, was abandoned by his own parents and lost the vision in one of his eyes while trying to earn money in unsanctioned prize fights.
It could be argued that Seabiscuit redeemed these men. He gave them the chance to become great, just as they did for him. It is stories like this one that make horse racing in America a romantic sport.
Blue Bloods and Commoners Mingle
In the earliest days of horse racing the wealthy and the elite dominated the sport. The only people who were able to afford horses and race them were the rich. They were also the people who had the money to make bets, first among themselves and then at the racetrack with the general public.
The poorest of society were soon attracted to racing, and there was little that the blue bloods could do to keep them out. When Seabiscuit ran the poorest people in the nation would show up to bet their last $2 on what they thought was a sure thing. As such, horse racing became a sport that anyone could enjoy regardless of their income level.
Of course, this didn’t set well with some of the elite. The attitude that horse racing should be reserved for the rich still rears its ugly head today on occasion. But horse race betting in America is for all men and women, and that is what makes it such a great sport.
Horse Race Betting is Easy to Learn
Some of you that are reading this article are going to take exception to the statement that horse race betting is easy to learn. We agree that the art of betting on horses can take years to master. But few things can be easier than picking out a horse that you think will win a race and making a bet on that horse.
It is even easier to bet horses today thanks to the prominence of online racebooks in America. BetAmerica, Twin Spires, and other online betting platforms are available to anyone with a mobile device and an Internet connection. Even if you don’t live close to a live race track you can still enjoy the thrill of betting.
The Future of Horse Racing Betting in America
In recent years the horse racing industry has come under fire from animal rights groups and others who believe that the sport is cruel to the animals involved. These concerns were given a spotlight at the recent Santa Anita race meeting. Some 40 horses broke down during races and had to be euthanized. The events of the 2019 Santa Anita meet have given racing a black eye. They have even prompted the Governor of California to call for a moratorium on horse racing until the issue can be resolved.
Another challenge that has been faced by horse racing in America has been the downtick in live racing attendance. Many race tracks are struggling to maintain their race meets because attendance is down. This means that fewer people are making bets, and fewer bets means less money to pay for racing purses. It is a trickle down effect that hurts horse racing overall.
No one can say for sure why attendance at live racing has diminished so. Some have proposed reasons for the lack of interest in live horse racing betting. The availability of online racebooks could have something to do with it, but betting at those venues has not suffered. It is also true that bets made at the online racebook are tied in directly to the tote board at the race track.
Confidence in the fairness of the sport has always been an issue. Some individuals are convinced that horse racing is a crooked enterprise and that races are fixed. EZ Horse Betting has people on staff that will tell you race fixing is rare. They know this because some of our writers have worked in the industry for many years.
A positive for horse racing betting seems to be the willingness of casino gaming companies to get involved with live racing venues. Many companies such as Caesar’s Entertainment have partnered with race tracks to give the tracks a much needed influx of capital through the addition of slot machines. Those who work in the racing industry consider this to be a double-edge sword, and some of them would rather the casinos stay out.
The horse racing bettor in America should content themselves that racing will be around for many years to come. Like any other pastime, the sport has its ups and downs. It is a part of the American fabric and culture.