Horse racing popularity in the US has massively fluctuated over the years. Going back a few years the three most popular sports in the US were baseball, boxing and horse racing. So, the sport was hugely popular back in the 50’s, but 600 odd years later has the sport kicked on or are we seeing a decline in horse racing in the US?
Worldwide interest in horse racing
Right now there’s a real buzz around horse racing worldwide; and that’s because Cheltenham festival is fast approaching. Although the event is held across a week in one location, you can watch a Cheltenham live stream in the UK via many different platforms. The increasing number of ways and avenues in which to watch major racing meets such as Cheltenham is one of the key reasons why the sports global presence is still so strong.
But what about in the US? Yes it’s clear there is a huge global demand for horse racing, however there are indications that the sport’s popularity is on the wane in one of the countries to which it is so widely associated.
Casino’s at racecourses
There is a train of thought that suggest the only reason that many people are still attracted to racecourses in the US is down to the additional features in which they provide. Many of the larger courses across the country essentially provide a casino experience within the confines of the premises; and many people claim that the only reason that people are visiting these courses is to take advantage of these facilities.
Developing technology’s impact on horse racing
Going back a fair few years the only way to bet on and view horse racing was to actually attend the racecourse; nowadays this is no longer the case. As previously mentioned it’s extremely easy to access a live stream of pretty much any horse race in the world. This coupled with the fact that online gambling now accounts for a huge percentage of the whole market means that there’s less reason for people to actually visit a racecourse; they can in effect get a similar experience from the comfort of their own home.
The progression in technology over recent years means it’s now possible to bet and watch live sporting events such as soccer, basketball and horse racing via your laptop, tablet or mobile phone. Due to this level of technological advancement we’ve now become accustomed to having everything at the click of a button. We no longer see the need to travel to different locations to take in and place bets on events; it’s easier for us to just take advantage of the technology available to us.
The Kentucky Derby bucks the trend
Despite the fact that horse racing seems to be on the decline in the US, the Kentucky Derby definitely bucks the trend. Still widely revered as the most famous race in the world, the Kentucky Derby routinely attracts crowds of over 150,000 (Attendance of 167,227 in 2016 was the second largest crowd in Derby history, just under the record of 170,513 in 2015).