Horse races and horse race betting is still going on despite the Coronavirus pandemic.

  • Horse races around the world are still going on but are limiting fan attendance.
  • Horse race bettors are betting from home on races happening all around the world.

NEW YORK – Despite the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, horse races are still happening around the world.

A majority of horse race tracks are still operating as usual. Other than fan attendance restrictions, horse races and horse betting is still happening. A majority of horse bettors are no longer going to the race tracks to bet on the ponies.

Instead, they are staying at home and making their bets on their mobile devices.

According to the New York Times, betting on horse races from home is more popular than ever. TVG stated that the FanDuel Racing app has been downloaded more in one weekend than it previously was in three months.

“We didn’t think it would take off under these circumstances,” said Kip Levin, the chief executive officer of TVG. “As you can tell, people were looking for a distraction.”

Filling The Void

In a world without much legal sports betting happening, sports bettors are looking for new avenues of gambling to distract them. The horse racing industry is adapting to the Coronavirus pandemic and is continuing forward.

The benefit of continuing forward is that horse bettors do not need to be at the track where horse races are happening to make a bet. Federal law allows for horse bettors to be anywhere in the country to bet on races. So, a horse bettor can be in Texas but still bet on races happening in New York.

This gives the horse race industry a distinctive advantage in the current betting landscape. Of course, some adaptations are needed for the horse race industry to continue.

Limited fan attendance is one thing. Workers want to limit contact with fans as much as possible to prevent workers from catching the Coronavirus. One worker from the Aqueduct track caught the Coronavirus. Races were suspended as soon as the worker tested positive. But it is possible that the races could continue soon.

Major horse races are also being delayed as well. The Kentucky Derby has been moved to September 5 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Its energy and its magic really comes from everybody being there to enjoy it,” said Bill Carstanjen, the chief executive of Churchill Downs Inc. “We will roll with the punches but we feel very good that Sept. 5 is the right date.”

But it is possible that the rest of the Triple Crown will continue as scheduled. No announcements about rescheduling the Belmont Stakes or the Preakness Stakes have been made yet.

But if the Belmont and Preakness Stakes want to retain that same magic that the Kentucky Derby wants to preserve, a delay announcement seems inevitable.

Despite the major races facing delays, minor horse races around the country and globe are going on as scheduled. In a time of social distancing, bettors could look towards horse races as a much-needed distraction.

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