Dead racehorse. Source: Pinterest.

Horse Racing — Injury, death and slaughter fueled by gambling

What the Raced to Death video report by Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel does not mention is what fuels the so-called “sport” of horse racing. In a word — gambling. It is the people who gamble on horse racing who sponsor racehorse abuse, doping, breakdowns and death on the track, and thousands of racehorses at the slaughterhouse.

Without gambling horse racing would not exist. History points to this truth. By the end of 1910 virtually all gambling was outlawed in the United States. Horse racing collapsed.

Then came the Depression. In 1933 the gambling prohibition is repealed, and horse racing returns to the United States. This is when Seabiscuit becomes the hero of a depressed nation that had little to nothing to cheer about. And horse racing begins to thrive once again.

As horse racing escalated in the 1940’s and 50’s almost all states change their laws to allow parimutuel betting on horses which significantly increased the “handle” or how much was bet by the public.


Every wager placed at a racetrack, whether live or simulcast, trickles down from the gambler’s pocketbook to the track and the horsemen involved. Generally, a track’s purse structure comes directly from the projected amount of handle (the total amount bet by the public). A percentage of each race’s total purse is awarded to the highest finishers.

Trainers of course also make money via training fees paid for by the horse’s owner and there’s prize money of course. But this would barely keep them in business, if at all.

So it is “the take” that they train for — a percentage of the multi-million dollar gambling revenues generated by horse racing.

Without gambling horse racing would not be in business, the business of doping, maiming and destroying racehorses on the track and at the slaughterhouse.

If you haven’t seen Raced to Death by HBO’s Real Sports with Brian Gumbel, go here.


12 thoughts on “Horse Racing — Injury, death and slaughter fueled by gambling”

  1. Sher Kirk More Quarter horse are sent to slaughter than any other breed , no gambling on halter cutting or reining.
    Delete or hide this
    Reply · 1d
    Ann Marie Fox
    Ann Marie Fox Those figures vacillate between Quarter Horses, Standardbreds & thoroughbreds… Depending on the yr & the amts bred each yr…I remember a time when Standardbreds proliferated the view..
    Edit or delete this
    · 1d
    Sher Kirk
    Sher Kirk No the don’t do you have any idea how many quartet horse foal every year?
    Or tbreds or Standarbreds?
    Well I do and if your advocating racing wrong shit cause you think that’s going to help horse your wrong .
    They want all Horse not to be bred used as even pets .
    So you can’t have it both ways .
    Standardbreds and Thoriughbreds are anti horse slaughter , the Aqha is pro horse slaughter so what is it?
    Horse that breakdown don’t go to slaughter they are euthanize immediately and humanely their is nothing humane about horse slaughter.
    Now so I don’t have to see this offense shit any more I will block you
    Delete or hide this
    1d This after I posted your article…all my articles on facebook are public…needless to say I will always keep posting…stop racing, training & whipping babies…


  2. I been ouround. 49 years and every one is over doing these i love animais
    More than life and. Stop we breed to run we taking care them more they have grooms and they are there 24 /7
    To attent they needs the trainer owners. That DONATE TO HORSE FUNDS. TO MAKE SHURE THAT THE Y ARE OK. YOU HAVE SOME PEOPLE


  3. Yup -always said it’s motivated by greed and gambling and gluttonous appetites for both-it’s abuse


  4. FWIW attendance at the Melbourne Cup was its lowest since 1995, viewing dropped sharply by just under 30% and the wagering down by 6.9%. Overall turnover down by 5.9% which means less gambling revenue for our state governments. Our prime minister stated publicly in a media article that he was disturbed (not verbatim but close to the mark) by the ABC 7.30 expose on slaughter very recently. It’s tradition for our prime minister to attend the MC but this year he chose not to attend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would be interesting if they could calculate how much of the drop in attendance to Taylor Swift’s cancellation.


      1. Well it certainly gave it a lot of publicity. Would be interesting to know what kind of influence it had on attendance. The tracks always say that they had more people than ever, every single year. Go figure.

        If didn’t have any impact and people did attend in the high numbers they said, it is depressing considering that explosive investigation into racehorse slaughter. Has society really become that jaded?


  5. “Without gambling horse racing would not be in business, the business of doping, maiming and destroying racehorses on the track and at the slaughterhouse.”
    -Tuesday’s Horse

    “Of the 48 states with legalized gambling, 20 designate a portion of casino table game and electronic gambling machine revenues to support the horse racing industry……..”
    -American Gaming Industry

    So as we make efforts to stop gambling on horse racing, another target becomes state subsidies for the industry.


    1. Gambling is probably not going away completely but it may eventually go away on most live racing. There are already “racinos” who have a bit of horse racing so they can get the gambling licenses for slots etc. It is interesting to watch unfold. But heartbreaking and tragic because of the horses they are torturing and destroying in the meantime.


      1. Now. Don’t quote me here because I couldn’t find the article. My recollection is Santa Anita traded it’s slot machine allotment for x million dollars from a nearby casino this year.


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