A Plea to Bettors

To those who wager on horseracing, we implore you to reconsider. And ultimately, you hold all the cards: no more bets, no more races; no more races, no more kills. And: no more abusing unformed bodies; no more extreme, relentless confinement; no more whipping; no more drugging; no more buying and selling and trading and dumping; no more auctions; no more kill-buyers; no more transport trucks; no more abattoirs. No more maiming and destroying. No more pain and suffering. No more.

In a landscape that abounds with other gambling options – casinos, lotteries, real sports involving autonomous human beings – has not the time at long last arrived to let these poor animals be? You, the bettor, have within the capacity for mercy. We ask only that you exercise it. Please, for the horses.

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  1. I could not agree more.

    I have stopped betting on both thoroughbred and standard bred races for almost a year now, and have no intention of returning. Most regular posters on this site have read my posts, and know that I was not a $2 bettor, but I spent a lot of money on the races over the years. Now, I confine all my betting interests to the casinos, not the track.

    I recommend anyone reading this who still bets on horses to stop. In addition to the irreparable harm and devastation done to the animals by this ‘sport’, it is also a losing game for you too, the bettor! Trainers and vets are paid to look the other way when horses are administered illegal and pain-masking drugs to enhance their race day performance, which, effectively, renders your handicapping useless. Past performances become a moot point, as nowhere in the Racing Form are you told how many illegal drugs have entered the poor horse’s system since its last race.

    Mr. Battuello urges you to have the “capacity for mercy”, and I agree wholeheartedly. But when you decide to quit wagering on the races, you are also forever distancing yourself from a lose-lose game.

    Yes, for the horses, by all means. But also for yourself!

  2. Joe, I’m glad you don’t bet on race horses anymore. I don’t know what state you are in but there is one thing about playing slot machines at casinos or whatever other gambling game is played at casinos and that is the Video Lottery Terminal payments that subsidize the horseracing industry in New York State or playing at any casino that is part of the racino business model in whatever state.
    Idaho doesn’t subsidize horseracing so I don’t believe that the Clearwater River Casino in Lewiston, Idaho owned and operated by the Nez Perce Tribe would be a source of funding to any horse racing fund of any kind. There are two tribes in the southern part of Idaho that want to build casinos and one of those tribes wants to build a racetrack for horses and Pari-mutuel gambling. Hopefully, the racetrack never gets built.
    In Washington, I’m not sure how the casino revenue is collected or paid out to the Emerald Downs racetrack.
    There are so many states that subsidize horseracing with casino revenue which makes me wonder if you might be unwittingly supporting horseracing.

  3. Wanda, I never play video lottery terminals, nor do I frequent ‘racinos’ such as those in New York State or Florida. I mostly play in private clubs in Las Vegas or Atlantic City.

    You might want to know that ‘race books’ which used to be a staple of off-track betting at most casinos are gradually being eliminated and are often replaced by ‘sports books’, where one can bet on pro football, soccer, baseball, etc.

    Progress is being made. From being the most popular form of gambling entertainment a few years ago, horse racing is now the least popular. More and more avenues of horse race betting opportunities will disappear too, little by little. The idiot trainers and all the insiders of racing are helping, too, killing their own game – and not just the horses..

  4. I remember that there was a public outcry in the 1980s against the excessive whipping of the horses by the jockeys towards the end of the races. The negative publicity was discussed briefly on free antenna television (analog transmission).
    Now here we are in the 2020s and the EXCESSIVE doping and EXCESSIVE maiming and EXCESSIVE killing of horses is so much more obvious than it once was.

  5. With the internet explosion of the last several years, world-wide information on just about any subject is available at moment’s notice by simply typing in on your computer keypad, or your mobile ‘smart phone’. Consequently, information about the mistreatment of race horses is readily available for anyone who wishes to find out.

    Video replays on YouTube and much more horse racing information that the industry never wanted you to know about is front and center, as we are in the midst of an information-conscious age.

    This is probably why the abuse seems more obvious. But the upside of that is, because of this, and the wide variety of wagering options available today, horse racing is losing fans every single day. I may have posted this previously, but a friend of mine who has the ‘Draft Kings” app on his phone can bet on anything – literally, anything. Pro sports, video ‘black jack’ ‘poker’ video ‘craps’ simulated slot machines, and yes, horse racing.

    Interestingly enough both he – and his ‘gambling buddies’ bet a lot of money, bet a lot of different games, but never horse racing.


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