Horse racing and gambling: Comparing attitudes and preferences of racetrack patrons and residents of Sydney, Australia

Abstract

Thoroughbred breeding and racing has survived on the ability of racing administrators to capture gambling revenue, whether it is proximal, remote or virtual. Given this relationship, there is surprisingly little academic work on the perceptions of gambling, preferences for different forms of gambling, preferences for different types of thoroughbred races that may facilitate gambling, and the relationships between viewing thoroughbred races and gambling on these events. We address this important gap in the literature through a study involving racing patrons at two Sydney racecourses, including midweek and weekend racing meetings, and a corresponding study of four Sydney suburbs, with differing socio-economic characteristics. Our research highlights the variety of attitudes to gambling and the diversity of gambling experiences among participants. It situates contemporary technological innovations such as internet gambling within a longer history of approaches to revenue capture that address the impermanence of existing borders and revenue arrangements based on the control of defined space.

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