Big punters love to bet on horse racing in Australia

January 13, 2020 | By More
Big punters love to bet on Australian horse racing
Australian horse racing provides ample opportunity for big punters

Australia is a world-leading environment for betting on horse racing. No wonder some of the biggest international punters regularly come to this part of the world to bet on the big races.

Horse racing is a super popular sport in this country, and as such is highly regulated and controlled.

Racing authorities quickly deal with any hint of corruption. Integrity is maintained across the board.

Big punters prefer highly-regulated horse racing jurisdictions

Professional punters are highly active in Australia and bet with confidence. Due to the high level of integrity in Australia, the big punters know that their investments have a fair and even chance of paying off.

This is in contrast to other racing jurisdictions where the punter is not certain whether other factors, outside the rules of racing, are at play. There is a level of distrust when he comes to invest his punting dollar. Some have made a first deposit on other wagering platforms as they consider the risk of betting in some racing jurisdictions.

Horse racing is a major sport in Australia. Local, State and Federal laws ensure that the sport remains absolutely clean.

Integrity in the horse racing industry

The horse racing industry in Australia allocates a large sum of money to maintain utmost integrity in the sport. The Victorian Racing Integrity Board for example, strengthens regulation of the horse racing industry in Victoria. 

This new entity further maintains integrity and stamps out any wrongdoings or corruption that hamper wagering investment.

There is widespread commitment to the strongest level of integrity in thoroughbred horse racing in Australia.

One prominent trainer has already met the wrath of this new racing entity, having engaged in illegal and fraudulent activities.

Punters invest with confidence in Australian racing knowing that the sport is clean. Every horse given a fair and reasonable chance of winning.

Ban of performance enhancement medication

The Australian racing industry is also drug free. Extensive drug testing quickly detects any illegal substances administered to horses. Offenders meet with heavy penalties.

The drug testing facilities and programs in Australia are world leading.

Heavy penalties await connections of horses found to have raced with the assistance of drugs.

Police and racing integrity officials conduct raids on training complexes randomly, and at any moment in time. Raids for any reason occur often in the early hours of the morning. For example, they may result from information gleaned from form analysis or from insider tip offs.

All these checks produce a racing product that is the cleanest in the world.

In contrast to the US, racing authorities in Australia prohibit Lasix and other anti-bleeding medications. This ensures that there are no horses running under duress or afforded an unfair advantage.

Wagering on horse racing 

Australians bet an average of US$862 annually per capita on horse racing, compared to US$274 in the UK, US$179 in France and US$45 in America. More money is wagered in Australia on horse racing markets compared to USA.

Much of this stems from unparalleled access by the public to horse racing. Four television stations stream live horse racing. A free-to-air platform covers every race on which there is betting. The biggest selling newspaper in every major capital city carries about 12 pages of horse racing news, form and commentary, every day.

There is also a huge public appetite for horse racing. Everyone talks about it. Breaking news items in horse racing are lead stories on the front page of major newspapers. Most of the population knows about the latest stars of the turf. Champion mare Winx, for example, attracted national adoration. The viewing audience for her last race was enormous. Most people over the age of 18 years, have had a recent bet or two.

Audience figures for racing’s main Pay TV network grow annually. In 2017 the audience grew by 18.2%. This is against a backdrop of a 5.3 per cent fall in ratings for pay TV sport.

The number of punters registered with two of the major online bookmaking companies is upwards of 1.6 million.

Big punters bet in Australia

Leviathan gambler Zeljko Ranogajec made his initial fortune in Australia. His undercover world-wide gambling operation turns over more than $3 billion per year.

Another of Australia’s biggest punters, only known in racing circles as “Dr Nick”, employs a team of people to wager about $2 million every week.

These operators can turn an each-way chance into an odds-on favourite in a matter of seconds, such is the volume of bets they lay.

Big punters of the past profited greatly from the attractive betting environment in Australia. Names such as Eric Conolly, “Hollywood” George Edser, Perce Galea, Felipe Ysmael and Kerry Packer were highly prominent in this country.

It was common to find them, or their employees, smashing the betting ring in those days. Rails bookies were vigilant to avoid being captured unaware by professional punters.

The Australian horse racing wagering market

Australia has a $4.3 billion wagering market by revenue, of which the ASX-listed Tabcorp’s share is about half.

Villagebet’s preferred online betting partner, BetEasy, has over 400,000 customers and reports revenue upwards of $300 million. It controls 14% of the online betting market by revenue,  compared to the ASX-listed Tabcorp’s 31 per cent. Many Villagebet members have accounts with BetEasy and religiously follow the racing tips and best bets.

The betting and wagering market in Australia is huge, however the industry also offers enormous economy benefit to the country.

An economic impact study of the nation’s thoroughbred racing industry reveals it is worth $9 billion and provides more than 70,000 full-time jobs.

The Victorian racing industry contributes $4.3 billion to the economy each year. It sustains more than 33,000 equivalent full-time jobs across the state.

Many betting operators are based off-shore, however the economic benefits to Australia are more than substantial.

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