Gambling related articles

How has technology transformed betting on the horses?

From Rik Snuiverink.
November 2019.

Whether it’s the Melbourne Cup or a minor meeting at your local track, putting a dollar or two on a horse is one of the oldest and best-known forms of sports betting. It’s also something that has often been seen as something of a closed club, with the mysteries of trackside betting shrouded in mystery.

You wouldn’t hear people claiming they “wouldn’t know where to start” playing slots or roulette. Yet that’s exactly the line you often hear when it comes to horse race betting. However, technology has wrought a number of transformations that have made it both more accessible and more attractive to 21st century sport enthusiasts.

Sports science in the stable

All the gambling technology in the world won’t attract punters unless the underlying sport showcases the very best. If you were lucky enough to pay a visit to Godolphin stables in Newmarket, you would see that Sheikh Mohammed has invested in technology that would not look out of place in the Olympic Village. Artificial gallops and spas help the equine athletes develop their muscles under carefully controlled conditions, while medical monitoring technology such as endoscopes and MRIs provide early warning at the first sign of trouble.

Accessing the world’s top races

It’s interesting that we discuss Sheikh Mohammed’s base in rural England as casually as we might talk about a stable on the outskirts of Melbourne. Physical distance is an irrelevance in the online world, and this also applies to the races we watch.

Traditionally, all the hype we’ve been experiencing over the Melbourne Cup in recent weeks used to signal the end of the racing season. Now, it simply means we turn our attention elsewhere. For example, Ireland plays host to two of its most popular festivals in November at Punchestown and Fairyhouse. Shortly afterwards, there are the traditional meetings at Limerick and Leopardstown over Christmas. In short, there’s racing to be enjoyed all year round, and where you happen to live on the globe doesn’t prevent you from getting involved.

Betting made simple

Accessibility is about more than setting up a bookmaker app that gives you the runners, riders and odds of races across the world, however. Online bookies are fully aware of the need to welcome new audiences that come from both the equine direction (for example horse lovers exploring the world of racing) and the gambling angle (those casino gamers who decide to give sports betting a try).

This is where the full implications of the “information age” come into focus. Betting apps provide in depth analysis, expert tips, statistics and even live streams. There’s also a major focus on betting guides to strip the mystery away from those Yankee and Trifecta bets.

Only the beginning

What is truly exciting is that so much of this technology is still relatively new. Where could it take us? Live betting, for example, has become massively popular in the soccer world as it allows gamblers to place a bet when the game is already in progress. Surely it is only a matter of time before similar possibilities are released in horse racing. The future seems like an exciting place.


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