Bet on it

| August 22, 2016
Is betting on horseracing a valid form of investment?

Is betting on horseracing a valid form of investment?

Australia’s champion racehorse Winx returned to racing on Saturday in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes at Randwick and her sterling performance sent shockwaves through opposition camps. Galloping on the outside of leader Rebel Dane, jockey Hugh Bowman let her go at the 200m mark and in an instant she put the race to bed. A sheer dominant display she made her starting price of $1.24 look attractive in retrospect. It was not long ago that big punters feasted on the extraordinary low prices offered for unbeaten champion Black Caviar, returning up to 6% on a sizeable investment. When comparing these returns from single bets against the annual bank interest rate of 2.5%, the benefits of wagering on racing’s latest “sure thing” were clearly evident.

Online betting on horse racing is completely legal in Australia and hence many global wagering providers offer their full suite of products to Australian punters (customers). Global wagering providers such as Tom Waterhouse – aus horse racing tips, otherwise known as “the corporates” operating in Australia, are largely owned offshore with most originating from the UK and Ireland. The uninhibited presence of these international wagering juggernauts has met with opposition from some quarters in Australia as Australian gambling revenue is channeled offshore rather than back into the local industry. Against this argument is that online wagering and sports betting pays over $200 million in fees and taxes in Australia and employs over 1000 people.

Horseracing accounts for 13.2% of gambling in Australia. Punters bet over $1.5 billion on the Spring Racing Carnival alone, with over $200 million bet on the Melbourne Cup. These are huge numbers that dwarf revenues derived from other sports betting. However, the racing share of the gambling revenue is decreasing and sports betting is becoming increasingly popular. Horse racing punters are finding new ways to bet and wagering providers are offering richer and more diverse betting experiences to claw back market share.

Statistics show that most punters now use mobile technology to place bets rather than their desktop computers. This means that bets are being placed by eager punters anywhere and anytime. To cope with new trends, wagering providers are offering new ways to bet such as “in plays” where punters are able to bet during the progress of the race or game. In this world, up-to-the-second odds are essential to maintain a competitive edge.

Do these new forms of betting lead to better punting and more ways to become profitable? As the hot favourite Winx powered to her 10th-straight win, seemingly easier than all her previous, a victory apparently more certain than the stockmarket, the question arises whether gambling on horse racing is really a valid form of investment.

Category: Special interest

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