One of the most popular sports in the UK – and across the world, is horse racing. More people than ever place bets on the biggest festivals such as Cheltenham, Royal Ascot etc. At Smarkets, for example, you can find all different types of odds.
However, horse racing is known for its close finishes – and if you have money on a horse, you need to know that the result is right. Indeed, this means that simply looking with the naked eye isn’t enough and this is where the addition of technology has helped.
These days, technology touches every single part of our life. It changes how we watch sports, how referees decide on goals, penalties and offside, how athletes train – and horse racing has also benefited from technological advances in recent years. Although this is a sport that has kept most of its roots and traditions – technology has added an extra dimension.
The Photo Finish
This is the biggest change that has occurred in horse racing recently. It is not uncommon for horse races to have incredibly close finishes. In fact, sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between first and second place. Because horse racing betting is such an integral part of the entire sport – especially at events such as the Grand National and Cheltenham, these advances in technology allow accurate results to be determined immediately.
This means that fans and bettors can know straight away whether their bet has won or lost by a whisker. Photo finishes mean perfect results that can be announced straight away.
Now, high-quality broadcasting equipment means that even if you can’t enjoy a day at the races, you can still watch all of the action. Broadcasters can use the most updated technology to bring horse racing bettors and fans all the latest information and news on the performance of horses and jockeys as the race progresses. In addition, trainers can then use this footage to analyse the performance and to help them to improve.
As well as this – streaming means that you can literally watch the races from wherever you are, whenever you want – even if you can’t make it to the race and it’s not being shown on TV. Often, betting sites use this technology allowing anyone who has bet on the race to be able to watch it.
The Safety of the Horses
In terms of betting audience, horse racing is the second most popular sport, just behind football. Often, safety isn’t the main concern of a fan when they go to watch a race, but the industry has to put a lot of emphasis on the safety of the horse and jockey.
The implementation of technology has improved safety for horses both on and off the track. One of the biggest risks to a horse during the race is overheating. Now, thermal imaging cameras on the track allow vets to be able to check the horses’ temperatures after the race, ensuring that they are cooling down enough. The addition of this technology has led to a drop in horse fatality of around 30%.
Technology also allows horses to see fences sooner – another safety benefit. This has reduced the number of horses that fall. Technology has also been utilised to design racetracks in a way that is the safest for horses and jockeys.
Better Data Collection
These days, more emphasis is being put on data. This is now becoming a more data-driven sport. Indeed, trainers and bettors even use weather forecasts to help them to predict the condition of the racetrack and, as such, the most likely outcomes – it leads to much greater accuracy.
In addition, tracking technology has made it easier to analyse the race after it has finished, which makes it easier for trainers to improve the condition of the horse and help bettors make a more educated prediction on who might win.
More betting options
Given the fact that mobile phones have become an integral part of our life, betting also had to adapt to this. After all, these are devices we carry with us all the time. Apps are being developed to make wagering accessible wherever you are, and since it is a part of horse racing too, now you are able to place your bet on the horse of your choice, while not having to visit the track. It means that horse racing lovers are able to follow the progress of their favourites, and wage whenever and wherever.
Before wagering would be done only at the spot, on the tracks, and the odds would be pointed out on the board. All transactions would also go on the spot, and unlike now, they would strictly go in cash. Even though it sounds like ancient history, what we’re mentioning was happening not so long ago, actually. In fact, the same betting style is still practiced on the tracks. What technology did with mobile betting is just making the activity more accessible to people who are not able to visit the tracks every time they’d like to.
Besides, keeping up with the progress, and being able to compare odds, while also paying with your credit card, makes it quite convenient for those who have never gone on the tracks, to quickly get into the horse racing activity.
The increased popularity of the sport
Without a doubt, because of being a part of the bookmaker’s offer, the races have only grown in popularity, especially in places where people aren’t used to betting on them. You can now bet on horse races either online or by going directly to the horse tracks, as you could already conclude from our previous point.
However, we also advise you to visit the tracks, when the situation allows you to. You can be sure that you will have a great time watching the race with screaming fans and flying dirt.
Offers, promotions, and other commodities
Just as is the case with other sports, the same goes for the races, when it comes to promotions and betting bonuses. Platforms you can place your bets on are offering all kinds of commodities to lure people to register, and start using their services. It can be said that this is also one of the things that changed this sport and made it more popular among people.
As technology continues to develop further, who knows what other kinds of surprises await the betting industry in general. We can only watch, and adapt, enjoying all the perks of online betting, as time passes.