Betting on the horses

Organised horse racing goes back to ancient times most notably with the Greek chariot races in the Hippodrome presenting a thrilling but dangerous spectacle around 780BC.

In Britain, betting on horse races goes back at least to the reign of Queen Anne (1702) while the first official horse race in Australia took place at Hyde Park in Sydney in October 1810.

The first official races in Victoria were held at Batman's Hill in Melbourne in March 1838 while legal betting on horse racing started in 1882 with the licensing of the first bookmakers.

Today, thoroughbred horse racing is a major spectator sport in Australia with $14.3 billion spent in 2009-2010 with bookmakers and the TAB.

The Responsible Gambling Guide (PDF - 7007 KB) useful information about how betting on the horses works, and how to gamble responsibly, whether at the track or online.