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Horse racing .....Sport or gambling?

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How many people would watch horse racing if gambling wasn’t involved?

Most watch football, rugby etc  without gambling on the result. But could the same be said of horse racing?

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Racing is my passion, previously involved in the industry for half my working life, but I only bet as an interest.

I would not describe myself as a gambler, but as an small investor ............... I lose a little and I gain a little on a regular basis now that I am retired and have the time to study individual races.  One day I may hit a jackpot, but then I have been waiting for my premium bond to come up since 1965...............

............. For some reason the general public seem to assume that my interest is in racing is in gambling, nothing could be further from the  truth.

I also have a fantasy stable with Godolphin, one of the biggest international organisations with a massive worlwide infrastructure, breeding, racing and so on. https://club.godolphin.com/your-fantasy-stable . 

It is primarlly a sport, cleaner than many, though of course, there will always be individuals who try to make personal gains by unfair means.

Sixty thousand people attend every day at the Cheltenham Festival,  its a major social occasion.

 

Edited by LadyG

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39 minutes ago, Hudds Lad said:

i'd imagine without the gambling there'd be very little horse racing

Well you would be wrong, gamblers don't pay for the horses. It woud be a different industry a smaller industry, but it would still continue,  though as a minority sport, [like golf, football and athletics :)]

https://www.thenational.ae/world/horse-racing-in-saudi-arabia-a-passion-that-parades-at-the-city-track-1.176011

Edited by LadyG

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29 minutes ago, Hudds Lad said:

Saudi aside, who puts up the prize money for UK races?

Well that is a different question. Horseracing is the sport of kings: kings and queens need an interest just like the man in the street,  and they would be very foolish if they expected to win sufficient money from prize money to pay for their hobby.

A few individual horses may win big prizes in major races, but most horses do not pay for themselves, and owners who buy a horse in order to get "inside information" are an absolute pita in racing circles, they will almost certainly lose money, and find the whole process very unsatisfactory.

There are lots of revenue streams involved:

owners pay entry fees for races, often topped up by racecourses, individuals, or trust funds, or betting firms

media rights are traded and are highly prized

sponsors use racing to promote their businesses, its a form of advertising

live from ITV4 https://www.itv.com/hub/itv4

Edited by LadyG

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With regard to the topic's title: must the two be mutually exclusive?

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21 minutes ago, Naughty Cal said:

No.

....is the correct answer.

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It's an activity that has continued through custom and tradition and supported for centuries.

I imagine most that participate get enjoyment from all three activities .... The Sport ... Gambling .... Socialising.  It would be quite boring if you went to the time and expense to experience only one of them.

I don't think it would survive in its current format if the gambling industry played a lesser part.  That is clearly the larger portion of investment and return. The point that it supports an industry and pays salaries is true, however if the lion's share is paid for by an Eastern Kingdom with a GDP per capita of $486M while UK is $40,340 (figures from gov.org) I can only imagine UK salaries are a tiny drop in that argument, and it would be ridiculous to claim that the lion's share doesn't go back to the lion.

Still none of that bothers me, but I get a tad p'eed off when any animal is endangered, hurt, killed or slaughtered in the name of human fun.

That however is only my opinion, I would not have commented for any other reason than the question was asked.

 
 

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It's would be like playing poker for matchsticks, no buzz at all.

Duty bound to add rider

Please gamble responsibly

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20 minutes ago, reg said:

Duty bound to add rider

Please gamble responsibly

Strange, is it not, that the people at whom that rider is aimed are the ones who are least able to follow the advice?

(and the answer to the OP is indeed "both" but I can't give Athy a greenie for saying so.)

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1 hour ago, Machpoint005 said:

Strange, is it not, that the people at whom that rider is aimed are the ones who are least able to follow the advice?

 

Very true but you will always get a small percentage in any field that take things to excess.

To me,and I know many others, poker tournaments worked out as a cheap hobby if taken over a prolonged period. I had a poker pot of money and a real world pot of money. Occasionally 1 pot is topped up from the other, very nice when it's to right way around.

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I wondered into the Hungerford Arms in, Hungerford recently. Unknown to me at the time is that it's a horse racing pub. Whatever one of those is. Anyway the tellys were on and horse racing was on the telly. Listening to a number of the locals they seemed to know, in the main, who was going to do this or that and when such and such would swing wide and then take the lead etc,. 

I also asked some it seems annoying questions. Who pays the prize money and so on. I didn't know but jockeys get paid the same amount for a win etc. No matter what horse he's riding. They earn more money by riding for a particular owner or syndicate. It was quite enlightening.

Not sure if this is all true. But that is what I was told. One guy makes a living by being a jockeys valet type of guy on race day. Travelled the country wherever the work was.

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If you want to get annoyed about gambling, by all means do so, but perhaps start with online bingo.  The TV ads are all about having fun with friends yet it's played by individuals sat at home alone losing money on their ipads.  

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From the Daily Mash...

Quote

 

REVELLERS at the Cheltenham Festival have complained that horses are getting in the way of their drinking.

Men in salmon-coloured shirts have reported that their enjoyment of beer and spirits was jeopardised by large animals with people on their backs.

Punter Tom Logan said: “The horses make it harder to get to the bar. I tried stumbling across the track earlier to visit the Guinness truck and nearly got trampled.

“We come to Cheltenham for the atmosphere. And by atmosphere we of course mean alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol.

“Unless they can find a way to incorporate drinking into the races themselves they will always be an inconvenience.”

However, jockeys have defended the decision in the mid-1990s to add a horse racing element to the Cheltenham Festival.

Jockey Wayne Hayes said: “Fortunately we’re all wasted too. As if anybody would do this sober.”

 

 

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2 hours ago, Sea Dog said:

If you want to get annoyed about gambling, by all means do so, but perhaps start with online bingo.  The TV ads are all about having fun with friends yet it's played by individuals sat at home alone losing money on their ipads.  

No, if I want to get annoyed by gambling I'll start with the bookies Fixed Odds Betting Terminals which are a parasite on those who cannot afford to gamble. It is all very well with the claim that 'people should act responsibly' but that doesn't explain why bookies instal these iniquitous machines only in poor areas of the country. As I travel the country I can tell when I'm in a poor area by the profusion of bookies, if there are more that half a dozen bookies in the main street it is a seriously deprived area. They tried to use the 'argument' that without these machines Racing would suffer loss of income, well as far as I'm concerned, let it happen. I've seen what happens with these machines when people start 'chasing their losses' and given the speed at which they can lose money on them, it rapidly spirals out of control.

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2 minutes ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

No, if I want to get annoyed by gambling I'll start with the bookies Fixed Odds Betting Terminals which are a parasite on those who cannot afford to gamble. It is all very well with the claim that 'people should act responsibly' but that doesn't explain why bookies instal these iniquitous machines only in poor areas of the country. As I travel the country I can tell when I'm in a poor area by the profusion of bookies, if there are more that half a dozen bookies in the main street it is a seriously deprived area. They tried to use the 'argument' that without these machines Racing would suffer loss of income, well as far as I'm concerned, let it happen. I've seen what happens with these machines when people start 'chasing their losses' and given the speed at which they can lose money on them, it rapidly spirals out of control.

Yeah, start there, that's also a good place to start.  Similsr demographic of victims too, probably.

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5 hours ago, Nightwatch said:

I wondered into the Hungerford Arms in, Hungerford recently. Unknown to me at the time is that it's a horse racing pub. Whatever one of those is. Anyway the tellys were on and horse racing was on the telly. Listening to a number of the locals they seemed to know, in the main, who was going to do this or that and when such and such would swing wide and then take the lead etc,. 

I also asked some it seems annoying questions. Who pays the prize money and so on. I didn't know but jockeys get paid the same amount for a win etc. No matter what horse he's riding. They earn more money by riding for a particular owner or syndicate. It was quite enlightening.

Not sure if this is all true. But that is what I was told. One guy makes a living by being a jockeys valet type of guy on race day. Travelled the country wherever the work was.

Wel, I don't see why it matters, but jockeys are paid per race plus about 10% share of the prize money. Its a set fee of about £120  for a flat race, and £180 for a jump race. Very few jockeys are retained , those who do are get a salary from the trainer or an owner to prioritise their horses.

Very few earn megabucks, and they are in a very risky sport.

Jockeys invariably use valets to get their kit ready for them, there are one or two valet firms who attend all race meetings, its only common sense, and hardly surprising, the jockeys pay a fee to them per ride. There will be several race meetings per day, so one man would not manage to cover all races. There may be up to 40 horses per race, and perhaps eight races per day, at 30 minute intervals. A valet is often very busy, always hard working.

In my experience a few guys in a pub would not be expert in the revenue streams in the racing industry. 

Edited by LadyG

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39 minutes ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

No, if I want to get annoyed by gambling I'll start with the bookies Fixed Odds Betting Terminals which are a parasite on those who cannot afford to gamble. It is all very well with the claim that 'people should act responsibly' but that doesn't explain why bookies instal these iniquitous machines only in poor areas of the country. As I travel the country I can tell when I'm in a poor area by the profusion of bookies, if there are more that half a dozen bookies in the main street it is a seriously deprived area. They tried to use the 'argument' that without these machines Racing would suffer loss of income, well as far as I'm concerned, let it happen. I've seen what happens with these machines when people start 'chasing their losses' and given the speed at which they can lose money on them, it rapidly spirals out of control.

I would be astounded if any high street bookmaker had no FOBTs, no matter whether in a poor area or not. They are very profitable for them, and have evolved from mechanical fruit machines. Those "who cannot afford to gamble" can play all sorts of games 24/7,  online, or in an amusement arcade, clubs and pubs, bookies or supermarket, It seems to be a popular leisure pursuit, and is legal.

Edited by LadyG

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1 hour ago, LadyG said:

I would be astounded if any high street bookmaker had no FOBTs, no matter whether in a poor area or not. They are very profitable for them, and have evolved from mechanical fruit machines. Those "who cannot afford to gamble" can play all sorts of games 24/7,  online, or in an amusement arcade, clubs and pubs, bookies or supermarket, It seems to be a popular leisure pursuit, and is legal.

They will be struggling to lose money online at the rate they can do so on FOBT's. I would agree that they are very profitable, but then so is prostitution and drug dealing, it isn't really and argument for them though.

How many High Street bookmakers are their in Mayfair? if there is one I'll be quite surprised. To take a specific example, Market Harborough, a town that is clearly quite comfortably off and could probably easily afford to have the occasional flutter on these odious machines, they have two bookies a Betfred and a Ladbrokes, I can't even remember whether they have these machines or not. By comparison take Burnley, a place that has rather been 'left behind' they suffer from 4 William Hills,a Coral,Betfred and a Ladbrokes, and all of them have these machines, so why would Bookmakers deliberately target poorer areas?

Edited by Wanderer Vagabond

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18 minutes ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

They will be struggling to lose money online at the rate they can do so on FOBT's. I would agree that they are very profitable, but then so is prostitution and drug dealing, it isn't really and argument for them though.

How many High Street bookmakers are their in Mayfair? if there is one I'll be quite surprised. To take a specific example, Market Harborough, a town that is clearly quite comfortably off and could probably easily afford to have the occasional flutter on these odious machines, they have two bookies a Betfred and a Ladbrokes, I can't even remember whether they have these machines or not. By comparison take Burnley, a place that has rather been 'left behind' they suffer from 4 William Hills,a Coral,Betfred and a Ladbrokes, and all of them have these machines, so why would Bookmakers deliberately target poorer areas?

I am not here to justify any form of gambling or drug taking, legal or illegal, it just seems to me you are getting things out of perspective.

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19 hours ago, reg said:

you will always get a small percentage in any field that take things to excess.

Yes, those who are vulnerable. Gambling can be an addiction, and the mechanism of addiction is very similar to alcoholism, substance abuse and nicotine dependence. I question how "small" your percentage is, but no matter how small, does that mean we should decide not to protect its most vulnerable members just because somebody else can make a profit from them?

9 hours ago, LadyG said:

I am not here to justify any form of gambling or drug taking, legal or illegal, it just seems to me you are getting things out of perspective.

Gambling does not really interest me, by the way, and although I have placed maybe a dozen small bets on horses over the last 40 years (half of them when I attended my only race meeting) I am utterly indifferent as to whether I might do so again.

 

10 hours ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

They will be struggling to lose money online at the rate they can do so on FOBT's.

Although they don't have to keep feeding them with real money?

Edited by Machpoint005
to clarify

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1 hour ago, Machpoint005 said:

does that mean we should decide not to protect its most vulnerable members just because somebody else can make a profit from them?

No it doesn't mean that. The gambling industry is designed to suck up money.

As I said I personaly enjoyed poker tournaments as a cheap, note the word cheap, hobby and I know many others do also. I am fully aware though that there needs to be protections in place for those of an addictive nature.

One of the saddest sights to me is watching someone sit and feed a FOBT 

I contend that it is part of human nature to enjoy risk taking, which is what gambling is. However protections and procedures should be in place to protect the vulnerable.

There are many forms of gambling that I wouldn't touch with either of my barge poles.

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not all the cash fed in is lost:

QUOTE]

One can expect slot machines FOBTs to have an RTP of between 90%, up to 94% depending on the chosen stake, and standard roulette FOBT to have a long term average RTP of 97%. Fixed odds betting terminals were introduced to UK shops in 2001. The most commonly played game is roulette... [END QUOTE

I'm not sure how true that is, however most punters do expect some return, though obviously not as much as they put in, they can also put money on virtual horses and dogs, which are similarly "adjusted" to send profits to the host, I find my cash machine will only pay out £200 per 24 hours, and it won't ever give me more than I have available, most people would be restrained by this constraint.

The govt have decided that the FOBT stakes are too high, but its a bit daft really, folks will just bet for longer, thus increasing the addiction.

Edited by LadyG

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