When one thinks of sports in Spain, soccer and football are the first two names that come to mind. However, horse racing too is a popular sport in the country, home to some of the most prestigious racecourses.
Get ready to learn about horse racing in Spain, and how to bet on it.
Horse racing in Spain
You may be surprised to read this, but the earliest record of formal horse racing in Spain can be traced back to 1835, when the first race took place in Alameda de Osuna, northeast of Madrid. International horse racing contests have been taking place since 1919.
Today, the country is home to some of the biggest racecourses which host a series of racing events throughout the year. Some of the most prominent horserace venues include the Hipodromo de la Zarzuela in Madrid, Gran Hipódromo de Andalucía Javier Piñar Haffnerr, in Dos Hermanas, Club Hipico Peneda at Seville, and the unique Sanlúcar de Barrameda, along the Sanlucar Beach, where horse races take place right at the beach.
Like its European counterparts, Spain holds various classic races, including the Gran Premio de Madrid, Premier Cimera, the Spanish equivalent of 2,000 Guineas, Premio Valderas, the Spanish equivalent of 2,000 Guineas, the Premio Villapadierna, the Spanish Derby, Premio Beamonte, the Spanish Oaks, and the Premio Villamajor among others.
Horse racing lovers and keen bettors flock to these events to watch their favourite horses in action and to cash in on the betting opportunities. Given the wide number of races taking place in the country, it comes as no surprise that a substantial amount of money is bet on these events. If you want to be a part of the betting action in horse racing in Spain, here is a brief guide to lead you in the right direction.
Betting on horse racing in Spain
Before 2011, the Spanish government had a very relaxed attitude towards sports betting. Betting was legalised in 1977, but there was no legal framework, which led to the opening of numerous illegal and unregistered betting shops across the country. While the residents could bet on any site they wanted, the shops made huge profits in return.
However, in 2011, the Spanish Gambling Act was introduced to regulate the gambling industry. The law allowed the government to monitor, control and administer the gambling industry in the country.
Thus, once the act was enforced, companies previously trading in Spain without a license were now forced to register or cease operating.
That being said, horse racing has one of Spain’s most popular betting markets. The locals spend around 15% of their annual income on wagering on various sports.
How to bet on horse races in Spain
So, if you want to place bets, make sure to bet on a licensed site. An easy way to determine if the site is registered is to look at its domain name. If it ends with “es”, it indicates that the site is licensed in Spain. If you take your chances with an unlicensed site, you risk losing your money and may also face legal implications.
These sites are required to acquire a license for each gambling product, so you may usually find only one type of gambling product on most sites. Moreover, if you want to bet online on a site in Spain, you need to register, for which you must provide your DNI (Documento Nacional de identidad) and a scanned identity image.
Currently, many online betting sites offer you the opportunity to bet on local Spanish horse racing plus international horse racing from UK, Ireland, Australia, France and the US. You can choose to indulge in fixed-odds horserace betting or pari-mutuel betting.
Before betting on a particular race, it is a good idea to get all the possible information about the race and consider the various factors involved, for instance, the track conditions, weather, the course length, jockey replacement, if any etc. Usually, the race programs entail all the significant information about the horses running in a particular race.
What is the biggest horse race in Spain?
The Gran Premio de Madrid is the biggest horse racing event in Spain, which takes place at the Hipodromo de la Zarzuela in Madrid. The race runs over a distance of 2500m and is reserved for three years or older fillies and colts.
What are some popular spanish betting sites?
There are several popular Spanish betting sites that are widely used by both casual and professional bettors. Some of the most popular Spanish betting sites include Bet365, Betfair, William Hill, and 888sport. These sites offer a wide range of betting options, including sports betting, casino games, and live betting.
Bet365 is a popular choice for sports betting, with a wide range of sports and events available for betting. They also offer live streaming of matches and events, making it easy for bettors to follow the action in real-time. Betfair is another popular site that offers a variety of betting options, including sports betting, casino games, and exchange betting.
William Hill is a well-established betting site that has been operating for over 80 years. They offer a wide range of sports and events for betting, as well as casino games and live betting. 888sport is a newer betting site that has gained popularity in recent years. They offer a variety of sports and events for betting, as well as casino games and live betting.
Overall, there are many popular Spanish betting sites to choose from, each offering a variety of betting options and features to suit the needs of different bettors.
What is the future of horse racing in Spain?
Horse racing in Spain has faced some challenges in recent years, including declining attendance and a lack of investment in the sport. Despite this, there have been some positive developments in the industry that are expected to have a positive impact on the future of horse racing in Spain.
One example of this is the recent approval of a new law that will allow online betting on horse racing in Spain. This is expected to increase interest in the sport and provide a new source of revenue for horse racing operators. The new law is also expected to attract more international attention to Spanish horse racing, which could help to boost the sport’s profile and popularity.
Additionally, there are ongoing efforts to improve the quality of horse racing in Spain and attract more international attention to the sport. This includes the development of new racecourses and the hosting of high-profile events, such as the Gran Premio de Madrid. The Gran Premio de Madrid is one of the most prestigious horse racing events in Spain and attracts top jockeys and horses from around the world.
Despite these positive developments, there are still some challenges facing the horse racing industry in Spain. One of the biggest challenges is declining attendance at live racing events, which has been attributed to a lack of investment in horse racing infrastructure and facilities. This has led to a decline in the quality of racing and a decrease in the overall popularity of the sport.
Overall, the future of horse racing in Spain will depend on a variety of factors, including the success of new policies and initiatives aimed at promoting the sport, as well as the continued investment in horse racing infrastructure and facilities. If these challenges can be addressed, there is potential for horse racing in Spain to experience a resurgence in popularity and success in the years to come.