Which country bets the most on horse racing?

Posted on 22nd February 2022

There is no unequivocal answer to the question of where horse race betting is most popular. Some countries can boast of long traditions in the discipline, some host the most famous competitions, while others in recent years generate the highest revenue from betting. One thing is for sure, although this is the oldest gambling-related sport, it is still preferred by thousands of punters around the world. In fact, horse racing is in the top 3 most popular sports for betting.

Many countries have gradually shaped their own unique traditions and variations of the sport, introducing different track lengths, specific hurdles, and track surfaces. Nowadays, the industry is worth billions of dollars with fans from all around the globe avidly cheering their favorite horses and jockeys and persistently browsing the web for the latest information in the field and horse racing odds explained.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong surpasses the other countries in our selection in terms of revenue from horse racing. This is particularly impressive given that there are only two tracks in this area, Sha Tin and Happy Valley. However, more than 700 horse races are held there every year.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club is the largest taxpayer of the local government with most of its income originating from wagers amounting to millions of Hong Kong dollars per race. For these results, not a small role is played by the fact that horse race betting is a characteristic element of local culture and is seen by the authorities as an investment opportunity. Since the number of jockeys is not as large as in most countries with traditions in this sport, they enjoy great attention and have the status of movie stars.

The United States

The other country we will focus on is the United States, so much different from Hong Kong. There is a lot from everything here – tracks, horses, and jockeys. The highlight of the US horse racing calendar are three major competitions jointly called the “Triple Crown” – the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. The discipline in the United States involves mostly thoroughbred racehorses with the prevailing part of race tracks having flat terrain. Some of the exceptions are “endurance racing” which is a controlled long-distance discipline where competitors may race over 100 miles and “Quarter Horse racing” where horses are able to outrun other breeds in sprint races of a quarter mile or less.

Betting on horses is one of the few exceptions under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act and is also a favorite pastime, so reputable horse racing betting platforms provide constantly updated odds on numerous races in the country.

The United Kingdom

We cannot fail to say a few words about the United Kingdom where horse racing has long traditions and in terms of the number of spectators ranks second after football. In most countries, the pari-mutuel system predominates, while its UK version – the Tote – accounts for only a small percentage of the total horse race betting turnover.

The two main types of horse races conducted in the country are flat racing and National Hunt racing, where horses jump over fences and ditches. Most of the big horse races are held between March and December with a break during the winter. Betting is always an important part of the sport, especially when it comes to the most popular events during the active season. Punters collect information and make predictions weeks before the Cheltenham Festival, the Grand National, and Royal Ascot.

Why Betting on Horse Racing Is so Popular

Two words – fast return. Sometimes in just a minute or two, you place your bet, the race starts and ends, the results and the corresponding winnings become clear. What other sport can offer this? Horse race betting is the perfect option for those punters who are impatient and cannot wait even the 90 minutes of a regular football match to see if their bet is successful or not. Nowadays, many online bookmakers have developed mobile-friendly dedicated apps that allow for mobile betting where you can quickly place bets directly from your mobile device.

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