Of course not! It’s an industry on its own! Without trainers, owners, breeders, and the sundry staff that’s associated with horse racing, the sport wouldn’t exist.
But, also people bet on tennis, golf, football, MMA, You name it!
So, horse racing doesn’t just exist because of betting, it’s a legit sport and also a way of gambling. It isn’t any different from other types of sports that usually have spectators and participants.
The participants in horse racing, the jockey, and the horse are some of the best athletes you’ll find. And since they are fine athletes and professionals in their endeavors, people can place bets on the sports event. Like any other sports event, some jockeys and horses are sore and should not be on the racetrack, the same applies to football where some players aren’t able to give their best because they have an arm string injury or legs are broken. And although some people might argue that horses aren’t given a choice on whether to recuperate or race, that’s never the case.
Does horse racing exist only because of betting? No, it doesn’t! Horse racing already exists even in countries where gambling is illegal. For example, gambling is illegal in Dubai, isn’t it? But, Dubai still holds some of the most exciting horse racing events in the world including during Dubai’s Carnival that culminates into a remarkable Dubai World Cup night. Horse racing is high-end, always competitive, and well supported. Therefore, even with no betting, Dubai’s horse racing doesn’t just survive because of betting, but it’s a positive event that draws revelers from across the globe.
Now, whether horse racing would exist in the UK without betting is a completely different matter. In the UK, I would say it wouldn’t stand a chance. UK horse racing needs bettors, or should we say losing bettors to survive. The main difference between UK and Dubai horse racing is that, unlike the UAE, in the UK, the industry needs the funds to survive.
Just imagine what horse racing would be like with no funding from the Levy and sponsorship by the betting operator. Also, the atmosphere at racecourses with no Tote or bookmakers wouldn’t be what we are used to today. As a result, I strongly believe that although horse racing can still exist without gambling, betting makes sports events more exciting.
The Newsroom. (2012, March 19). Horse racing: BBC to end all live racing coverage from 2013. The Scotsman. https://www.scotsman.com/sport/horse-racing-bbc-end-all-live-racing-coverage-2013-1638167
Staff, R. (2020, May 12). Horse racing-British Horseracing planning for June return. U.S. https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-horseracing-idINL4N2CU0MH
We know where the Sheikh’s horse is. But where is his daughter? (2021, May 1). The New York Times – Breaking News, US News, World News and Videos. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/29/sports/horse-racing/kentucky-derby-sheikh-mohammed-dubai.html