In many parts of the world, gambling is just done in order to win money. Particularly countries such as Japan, horse racing is predominantly about gambling and trying to win money. Now that is definitely an attractive lure in Australia as well, there are more reasons why we love the ponies.
Australians Love Spectator Sports
Australians are actually world famous for being avid sports lovers, and we are. You can find most of the people following at least one spectator sport or probably playing that sport.
Unlike casino games or lotto, although horse racing involves betting, it truly is a great spectator sport. Even if you aren’t placing a bet on a race, horse racing can still be fun to watch. After all, horses are some of the world’s greatest athletes, and just like we enjoy watching the Olympic Games, we also enjoyed seeing the horses competing week in and week out at various locations around the country.
Horse racing is also one of Australia’s oldest sports, with professional races being run since the early 1800s. This even precedes national favourites such as AFL, the NRL and rugby. Cricket is the only true rival to horse racing as being one of Australia’s oldest spectator sports.
A Day At the Races
Despite plenty of racing coverage done on TV these days, people prefer getting dressed to impress and spending a day at the races. Spectators don’t have to wait and attend the annual running of the illustrious Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday in November. Most metropolitan areas have first-class race tracks, so everybody has a chance to enjoy a fun day out with their friends.
Local race meetings are very much a full day event, so even if you don’t plan on spending your entire Saturday at the race track, there’s still plenty of opportunities to attend and see a few races live. And there’s nothing quite like live action, soaking up an atmosphere that just doesn’t quite translate on television.
Big Race Days Build Popularity
Along with Australia’s long history with professional horse racing, huge race day like the Cox Plate and the annual running of the Melbourne Cup only serve to increase the popularity of this sport. People who never even bet on a horse race any other time of the year will often find themselves placing some money down on a Melbourne Cup horse.
When a single 4-minute horse race can bring an entire country to a grinding halt, that really says something for the sports-crazed psyche of the Australian public.
Aussies are sports mad, that’s a fact.
Being Able To Gamble Helps
Big race meets and the spectator aspect of horse racing aside, it’s also true that many Australians love to gamble. Because of which a lot many people can be seen putting money into lotto draws each week.
While not as many people take a punt on the ponies as will buy a lotto ticket, the fact that you can place a whole variety of bets on horse races all around the country only serves to make racing a super popular sport.
$16 billion was wagered once on Australian horse racing during the 2015/16 racing season. That’s massive cash for a country with such a small population. In fact, Australia has a very high number of professional punters; meaning these people actually make a living from betting on horse races.
Horse racing is also mega popular in Japan, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates. And the main reason it’s so popular in these regions is because of the gambling factor. There’s no getting away from the fact that chance to make money on racehorse is massive. It can be colossal drawcard for many people gambling on such sports.
The Future of Australian Horse Racing
Unless there is a ban on horse racing for some reason, there can’t be immense popularity fading any time soon. In fact, more than likely the public’s interest in racing will only increase; especially with the ease of wagering from home via the internet.
The future looks very bright for one of Australia’s favourite sporting pastimes.