When it comes to horse racing, all attention turns to the most significant event: the Triple Crown races held in the Belmont Stakes, the Preakness Stakes, and the Kentucky Derby. The tournament draws a lot of attention from fans and casual spectators alike for a few weeks between May and June. But this year, the 2022 Kentucky Derby will be held on the 9th of April.
This event is considered “America’s Day at the Races,” with not only a big number of spectators, but also millions of bettors turning to bet houses to stake on the derby using horse racing tips garnered from several sources. It might be the one time many learn about the racehorses or stake on the sport each year. Back in the days, the only allowed betting was conducted at racetracks, unlike now when online betting providers have dominated that sphere. Bets can now be placed virtually on online platforms from a laptop or smartphone.
The situation is similar to gaming events held globally. Even though a significant chunk of the world’s populace is interested in gaming, there are only a few occasions when they get to witness organized tournaments from the angle of spectators.
Horse racing and gaming seem to have a lot of parallels between them. For instance, both events have had peaks in popularity. It was many years back for the former, while the latter is enjoying its peak years now. Horse racing and gaming are also connected because they appeal to fans invested in both ventures but may sometimes attract casual viewers with organized events.
Horse racing was the staple spectator sport in the United States for several decades. During the 70s, horses like Affirmed, Seattle Slew, and Secretariat bagged Triple Crowns and was the most the sport ever peaked till date.
Within the same time, the idea of horse racing lotteries started to catch on, and casinos sprung up around the country, from Nevada to Atlantic City. The newly established gambling system offered more flexibility and range, making it impossible for racetrack gambling to compete. On the other hand, people discovered newer entertainment alternatives and made the switch.
Gaming followed a similar path. The launch of in-home consoles signaled the peak of gaming. But all that growth would come tumbling down with the video game crash of 1983.
Evolution and New Common Grounds
It wasn’t until big players like Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony monopolized the gaming industry that stability returned, and growth restarted. For once, gamers knew what to expect and who to hold accountable for the game quality and design—factors that triggered the initial crash.
On the other hand, horse racing never entirely became as popular as other mainstream sports again. This condition is further dampened by the absence of regulatory bodies at the state level and little to no representation on a national scale. Take football and basketball, for instance, which are regulated by organizations like FIFA and the NBA, respectively.
While gaming is poised as the next big industry and has performed well on the international front, horse racing has received mixed results on the international stage. Markets in Asia, South America, and the Middle East are still growing. Still, the sport is yet to match the global appeal of gaming.