How Horse Race Betting Became so Popular


Horse racing is one of the most popular sports today, at least as far as betting goes. While not many people watch and follow horse racing (though there is a pretty solid audience), plenty do wager on the outcome of the big races. But, how did horse racing become such a popular betting sport? The story is quite fascinating, so let’s get right down to it.

The Ancient World

What may surprise some to find out is that horse racing is one of the oldest sports that we still practice today, if not the oldest. While records discussing horse racing exist from Ancient Egypt, where chariot races were among the most popular sport, many historians believe the practice goes further back than even that.

Humans tamed horses over 6000 years ago, and historians are convinced that, apart from beasts of burden, horses were used for racing and entertainment. While we aren’t sure whether Ancients wagered on horse races, we can be sure that today, horse racing is one of the most popular betting sports. 

Websites like the Novibet online sports betting site offer some excellent odds for horse racing, and any fan of the sport should check it out. But, the question is, how did we get here?

Horse Racing Through the Ages

As we said, chariot racing was among the most popular sports in the ancient world. However, over the years, the sport’s popularity veined. People also seemed to lose interest in horse racing as well. While the practice was still being done in the Middle Ages, it was nowhere near as popular as it once was.

During the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, horse racing managed to pick up speed yet again. During this time, a lot of European countries banned wagering and gambling. However, some punters still managed to slip through the cracks and have their fun. 

The Victorians

The peak of horse racing and betting came during the Victorian era. It was the peak of colonialism, and the United Kingdom had cultural and social power in most major places around the world. So, when the Victorian people re-discovered horse racing, the rest of the world was quick to jump on the bandwagon.

And here, we find the reason why horse betting became such a popular sport today. Once the Victorians discovered horse racing, it quickly became a “pastime of the rich,” so to speak. The reason is simple; only the rich could afford to wantonly spend their money on horses and betting. 

Even today, horse racing is often considered a “high-class” sport, with even the English royal family participating and sponsoring some horses in England’s most notable tournaments. Therefore, placing a wager on a horse was a sort of status symbol. 

Over the years, the “status” side of betting on horse racing veined, but the actual practice remained popular. Today, horse racing remains one of the most popular betting sports, with events like the Royal Ascot, the Kentucky Derby, and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe attracting a slew of punters.