The pros and cons of betting on horse racing

May 27, 2019 | By More

Have you ever wondered why people are betting on horse racing? What drives them to risk their hard-earned money on the outcome of a bunch of horses running around a track? There is so much that can go wrong and often does.

To the indifferent observer, the concept seems ridiculous. To make matters worse, there seems to be no end of different types of people who undertake this activity. From the racing purists, professionals, amateurs, fun-loving champagne guzzlers, to the rank and file punters, each with a unique view on how to profit from our sport.

Betting on horse racing is easy

Betting on horse racing is incredibly easy. It’s simply a matter of signing up to an online bookmaker and depositing funds. Most have easy-to-use apps to make betting easy and enjoyable. Let’s face it, their aim is to get you betting so they make it really easy and fun for you to do that.

As a result, the government is clamping down on online betting. What was once an unregulated market is now more and more under increased government scrutiny. The latest being the outlawing of new member incentives by corporate bookmakers, in an attempt to prevent irresponsible recruitment practices. 

However, as long as you remain disciplined and maintain a betting limit, there really is no personal risk involved in online betting. Betting gets a bad rap but essentially, it is a personal choice and you can only lose what you put into it. Make sure you set a hard limit on your betting because if you lose track of what you are betting, things can get out of control. All online bookmaker apps allow you to set a month or weekly limit so don’t skip that step.

Betting has been around for more than 400 years

When did humans first begin to bet on horse racing? Racing and betting has operated hand-in-hand from the very beginning. From as early as the 17thcentury, during the reign of Louis XIV in France, punters were betting on the outcome of horse races. This was the same time that the 3 Arabian stallions were imported to the UK to establish the modern thoroughbred racehorse. As a result, horse racing and horse betting progressed rapidly and their respective growth became strongly linked. Now big punters around the globe make enormous wealth from betting on horse racing.

The horse racing industry benefits enormously from betting. Revenue from betting provides funds for race clubs and is responsible for the enormous prizemoney on offer to participants. Nowadays the very existence of horse racing is absolutely dependent on betting turnover.

Why do people indulge in betting on horse racing?

You’ve seen the ads on TV and online – they usually feature a gruff voice with some inane attempt at humour. Their aim is to make it fun and enjoyable part of everyday life.

However, what is the visual reality of betting on horse racing? Is it the champagne set, with joy in their faces and surrounded by friends? Or is the forlorn look of the lonely punter, trudging off to the train station having lost his week’s wages? How do we know what it’s really like to bet on horse racing?

To help answer these questions, I’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons of betting on horse racing.


  • The Challenge – Who doesn’t love a challenge. Betting on horse racing provides the intellectual pursuit of finding value where others have not. 
  • Heightened interest – Promotes a heightened interest in the contest, the form and the lead-up events.
  • Beat the experts – Provides a unique opportunity for the ordinary punter to beat the experts.
  • Win in life – Life is about enjoyment, satisfaction and achievement. Betting provides all these emotions.
  • Win money – Can provide great cash rewards
  • Feeling of euphoria – There aren’t many better feelings than the joy of winning!
  • Feeling part of the crowd – Betting is inclusive, and gives you no end of topics to discuss with colleagues.


  • You are so focused on your horse, or the bet, that you don’t fully appreciate the racing.
  • Lose money – Can quickly lead to financial losses
  • Emotional lows – Depression/anxiety/loneliness/mental health, a feeling of loss.
  • De-focused and passive interest in the sport. Participants become numbers rather than horses.
  • Distraction from the heroics of horse racing. It’s hard to be enthused about great moments when your horse finishes down the track.
  • The outcome of your personal betting clouds any post-race discussion and analysis
  • A feeling of waste when your hard-earned goes down the gurgler
  • The addictive nature of betting on horse racing

There you have it. Most people would come to the conclusion that the rewards of winning are worth it, provided you employ a disciplined approach. There are really not many compelling reasons to stop betting on horse racing.

How about you? Do the pros outweigh the cons of betting on horse racing? You have a choice as to how much money you want to allocate for this activity. Allocate only an amount you feel comfortable with, and can afford to lose. Any winnings are a bonus!

What you need for betting on horse racing

Once you decide you want to give it a go, you’ll need to sign up to one of the online corporate bookmakers. Signing up is easy and quick.

Simply sign up to an online bookmaker so you can dip your toe in the water.

Play with small bets initially in order to get a feel for it. Try to bet the quadrella for instance, for only a few dollars. Alternatively, you can try place betting or betting on longshots. If you’re taking a longshot, perhaps try each-way betting to provide a little insurance on your bets. Trifecta betting is also very popular and results in huge payouts.

Another interesting strategy is this variant of a staking plan, in which you must select one winner of 4 nominated races. If you can get at least one winner, this ingenious plan guarantees an overall profit. Once again, start small and gain confidence. Try a staking plan on the Preakness Stakes.

As with all betting, try to develop your betting plan and stick to it. This will ensure you are not caught up in the highs and lows of a day on the punt.

After you spend some time making small bets, you can decide whether you think this is a great idea or you can abandon it altogether. There is no obligation to continue betting. If you decide it’s not for you, it’s better to contact the company and close the account, otherwise you’ll keep getting their emails.

If you’re not confident in your own ability to select winners, you will want to look for a professional tipping service. We outline the things to look for and the things to avoid when looking for the best free horse racing tips.

The Villagebet website provides many detailed articles and tutorials on how to bet on horse racing.

The personal risk associated with betting horse racing is extremely low because you are armed with this vital information and knowledge.

It’s up to you to make it fun and financially rewarding.

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Category: Punting Advice

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