At the end of 2018, HBF invited responses from bettors to its annual betting survey. The survey covered various aspects of wagering on UK horseracing and invitations were sent to racing groups on facebook, via racing websites, through twitter and via the Racing UK (as was) email newsletter.  In total, over one thousand bettors responded.

Key Findings

  1. Age and Gender. Respondents were predominantly older men, only 5% of survey responses came from those aged 18-25; and 94% of the respondents were male
  2. Betting Frequency. The survey showed that the cross over from respondents who bet on lottery or FOBTs was minimal. 93% of those surveyed never played FOBTs, and 83% never played online casino and online games
  3. Information Sources. The survey highlighted the decline of print media, with 93% obtaining horse racing information through websites; however the Racing Post was used at least some of the time by 74% of respondents
  4. Betting Concessions. The concession most appreciated by bettors is the Best Odds Guarantee, which was nominated significantly more than any other; unsurprisingly in that context it was the one concession punters would choose over any other
  5. Racecourse Bookmakers. 91% indicated that on course bookmakers offering the best odds were very important, which compared with each way terms (79%), best odds guaranteed (71%), a friendly attitude (65%), and pitch location (48%). Of around 600 to answer the question, 84% know what an overround is and, when asked if it would be useful to be displayed on bookmakers’ boards, 72% replied that it would
  6. In Running Betting. The survey indicated that In Running Betting was a popular betting medium with 48% of respondents having bet in running in the last year. The survey indicated that if there were faster pictures, 33% said they would bet in running, whilst another 29% would consider trying it
  7. Going Assessments. The survey showed respondents have some concerns about the accuracy of going measurements. 75% had at least reasonable confidence in the official going, 77% in going stick readings, 80% in jockey’s opinions and 89% in going derived from winning times
  8. The racing betting experience. Many of the respondents offered free form comment on how racing could be improved. Common themes were:
  • Increasing the quality of racing and reducing the quantity of (poor) racing.
  • Frustration over having their accounts restricted without any notification and the need for a minimum bet liability
  • The deteriorating conditions of the on-course racing experience through the cost of entry and food and drink, poorer each way betting terms and a rise in anti-social behaviour.
  • There is demand for a more level playing field in terms of picture latency to stimulate in-running betting.
  • Three requirements with regards better information also regularly occurred
  • Accurate going and race distance information
  • Sectional times
  • Horse weights

The survey has enabled HBF to focus on priorities for its agenda for the next year and beyond, and to work with the industry to help horse racing betting to flourish.

The full survey report can be downloaded from this link.

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