Horse racing is one of the world’s oldest sports but it’s still just as enjoyable today as it was when it first started in 1651. While races might evoke feelings of nostalgia and a love of tradition, modern games are far from outdated. Technology and innovation have propelled racing into the future and we’re not looking back.
With online sports betting, participation in horse races is no longer confined to racecourses because fans can bet on the events from anywhere. And that’s just the start. Join us as we look at the ways in which the sport will evolve and improve over the next few years.
Technological advancements in horse racing and betting
Remaining stuck in the past does no industry any good. Thankfully for racing enthusiasts, equestrian racing has welcomed innovation. Here are a few ways in which technology has already enhanced this thrilling game.
Horse health tracking – Overheating after an intense race is a big risk to a horse’s health. With thermal imaging cameras, vets can now manage a horse’s temperature after a race and take the necessary steps to manage it. Horse MRI scanners, endoscopes and X-rays have also helped to diagnose and prevent diseases.
Mobile betting – Not very long ago, bets on horse races could only be placed with bookmakers at the track. But with better cell phone technology, people can now use their phones to place bets from anywhere. This also makes it easier to check odds and keep track of one’s betting slips.
Deciphering close finishes – In the 30s, a photo had to be taken and developed to check who was the victor in a close finish. Today, one-dimensional array sensors can reveal in an instant who the winner is.
Four ways horse racing will change in the next few years
There’s always something to look forward to in the sports-betting industry and racing is no exception. Here are a few upcoming major changes that will change and improve the way we race and play.
1. A standardized rulebook
There’s a new sheriff in town when it comes to the racing industry and it’s called the Congress-approved Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA). This authority regulates racing safety for horses and jockeys as well as anti-doping management. With HISA, horseracing will be regulated by a standardized set of rules throughout the industry and country similar to the way in which other associations such as the NBA are.
Even though the sport of racing horses follows various rules and guidelines, these rules vary between states and locations. With HISA and its formal set of guidelines, horse and jockey safety will become a priority. The implementation of these changes is not far off: safety rules must be implemented by January 1, 2023 and doping rules will follow soon after that.
2. Easy live streaming
Everything is better live. Thankfully, live streaming has become easier than ever before. Live-streamed races are changing both the sport as well as the people who watch and bet on horse racing. Thanks to more prominent games being effortlessly live-streamed on TV, desktops, tablets and even cellphones, the demographic of bettors is evolving as more people are free to join in on the action.
With live streaming becoming even more widespread in the next few years, there’s no limit to how far the sport can change and develop. With the improvement of race streaming, even the best horse racing betting sites will add enhanced features in order to keep up. In future, a website that only lets you bet on horse racing or view horse racing picks may also allow you to watch the game live on the go.
With streamed games, players can enjoy additional features such as improved virtual customer service, more viewing options than those available on TV and perhaps even community chat rooms.
3. Improved tracks
Not all tracks are comfortable or safe for horses to run on. Old school tracks are not only rough on horses’ hooves and legs in the long term but can also be dangerous to run on in wet weather conditions.
The use of synthetic surfaces on tracks is expected to increase in the near future. Synthetic tracks can be made from sand, rock or even rubber pellets or granules. Ongoing research will soon discover which material is the most effective in minimizing injuries. Polytrack, which is made of rubber particles, could be the new preferred track because it reduces injuries to horses’ feet and hooves.
4. Social media as a new form of data
Data and information have become one of the most valuable currencies in the world. For race bettors, relevant data is crucial. Think of the live horse racing odds and all the information bettors have to consider before placing their bet. Advanced technology is increasing the data we can track. Some fans can track variables such as weather and track conditions, a horse’s previous form and even the type of tracks they perform best on.
Modern social media sites are information and data hubs. Sure, you can use social networks to stay updated on your sports betting events and odds. Maybe you’ll even get a peek into a day in the life of a famous jockey. But, if growing trends are anything to go by, that’s not all you will be able to get from social media.
On platforms such as Instagram, you can already identify horse owners and stables because owners often post videos and photos of their horses. With the identity of owners and jockeys easily accessible on social networks, fans will have a new way of keeping up with their favorite horses and their health and performance. Sometimes, all you’ll see are pictures of what a jockey had for breakfast. But on other days, you could get insider info on a horse’s progress and performance during training.
Towards a brighter future
Imminent changes in the industry will not only improve safety but will change how we interact with races as spectators and bettors. The updated rules, processes and innovations will bring racing’s most impressive features to the fore.
Horse races are enjoyed and celebrated worldwide. With the rise of mobile sports betting, they’re only going to become even more accessible and universal. Now that’s something the whole sports betting community can look forward to.
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