Horse racing is made up of lots of different types of people, all of whom are trying to make money from this popular sport. There are racecourse owners, racehorse owners, breeders, trainers, and jockeys. There are also TV companies, sponsors, bookmakers… and, of course, punters.
So, here’s a brief explanation of how does horse racing make money for these various people?
Racecourses are just like any other sporting arena. They charge people an entry fee for coming to watch a race meeting and aim to also attract crowds to spend money on hospitality such as food and drink. Racecourses can also charge racehorse owners for entering their horses in races.
TV companies such as Sky racing, Racing UK, and ITV also pay for the right to broadcast racing from the racecourses. Advertising is another source of income, whether it be sponsors for the races or simply businesses advertising in programs or on-course.
Many racehorse owners are wealthy people, for whom horse racing is an expensive yet enjoyable hobby. Many racehorses never pay for themselves, but this doesn’t detract from the allure of finding a champion that can win vast amounts of prize money. Champions also tend to be worth their weight in gold as stallions, which is why powerhouse owners such as Coolmore and Khalid Abdullah own big stud farms.
Breeding is big business in horse racing and stud farms are quick to snap up potential top sires, if they didn’t already own them. Stud fees start at just a few thousand pounds for impregnating a filly or mare, but one of the top sires Frankel commands a whopping £175,000 for a link to his powerful bloodlines.
Not all racehorse trainers are rich, but they get to charge a set weekly, monthly, or annual fee for training each racehorse housed at their stables. Trainers also get a cut of any prize money the horses they train win, which is why the big boys such as John Gosden, Aidan O’Brien, Nicky Henderson, and Paul Nicholls will never be short on a few quid.
Jockeys get paid a set fee for taking a ride on a horse, and jockeys riding in every race on a card will make a tidy sum. However, those jockeys who only have one ride won’t have much left after they’ve deducted costs such as petrol and equipment maintenance.
Jockeys also get a percentage of the prize money any horse they ride wins, which is why being a successful jockey can be very lucrative. Some jockeys even get paid a retainer from their wealthy owner to make sure they have first-call on their services.
Live racing is normally broadcast seven days a week in the United Kingdom, and the TV companies pay racecourses a hefty sum for the rights to broadcast racing. They recuperate some of that outcome by charging bookmakers to show racing in shops or online. They also profit from advertising revenue, just like most other TV channels.
Many horse races are sponsored, indeed Betting Gods has sponsored several over the years although some are sponsored by companies that have no obvious connection with horse racing, but simply see it as a chance to showcase their brand and products to another audience.
Bookmakers are also encouraged to plough back a percentage of their profits into racing, which is why many races are sponsored by companies such as William Hill, Ladbrokes, Sky Bet, BetVictor, Paddy Power, Betfair, and many more bookmakers.
Horse racing is first and foremost a sport, but it’s one that has gone hand-in-hand with betting for centuries. Odds are available on every horse race in the United Kingdom from hundreds of different bookmakers, and millions of punters bet on a daily or weekly basis with them. Just like in any other business, bookmakers and horse racing offer a brand and product that millions of people want to be a part of, and a good bookmaker profits from the eagerness of people willing to bet for enjoyment.
There’s nothing wrong with being a punter that bets for enjoyment. If you can afford to chuck £20 or £30 a week on a few bets, it’s no different from going out and having a few pints. If you’re placing accas or big-priced combo bets, you could even get lucky and win a tasty sum of money. Horse racing also needs this type of punter to keep the circle of bookmakers, sponsorship, and prize money going.
But this type of punter also gives professional punters the chance to exploit markets by using their superior knowledge to profit from horse racing. Professionals tend to be more selective, only betting when the market offers them the chance to grasp some value.
That’s not to say making money from horse racing betting is easy, and gambling is normally a full-time job for pro punters. They’ll spend their time studying the formbook, watching videos of previous races, and trying to find angles that less-experienced punters will miss.
If that sounds like hard work, don’t worry, you can just as easily pay a small monthly price of the advice of professional tipsters looking to increase their earning by sharing their betting strategies. Some of these services also offer free tips.
We hope that’s answered your question of how does horse racing make money.