In a very first for horse racing in India, the Mysore Race Club is now offering its patrons the option to bet on the races online. The decision, announced by the MRC Chairman N Nithyananda Rao, comes following the massive income losses incurred by the turf club owing to the pandemic lockdown.
A Precedent for Online Betting in India?
Horse racing is one of the very few sports in the country that is legalised by the state governments. As per the current norms, anyone who is interested in betting on the horse races can do so by visiting their local turf club and buying the betting slips there.
The action entails watching the races in real-time on the tracks and seeing whether you have won or lost the bet.
This, of course, took a sharp hit when the Covid-19 imposed lockdown hit the country earlier this year. Turf clubs across India had to comply with the rules and consequently saw a drastic loss in betting income. The MRC alone incurred losses of close to Rs. 3 crores.
Now, the Mysore Race Club is set to lay the precedent by switching to online betting with real money and show the way forward for other turf clubs.
The Karanataka State Government has offered its consent to the club management to make this transition to online horse racing betting, starting with the winter races. The season, started on November 11, will see six race days in Mysore, going all the way to December 16.
How to Bet on Horse Racing
Mysore Race Club has partnered up with TurfWinners – India’s first dedicated online betting portal for horse racing – to give the punters a chance to place the bet on the go. People can place their bets on Betmyscore, which not so surprisingly, only features horse races.
The site layout is quite similar to what you would see with any other English operator but there is certainly room for improvement.
For starters, the website can focus more on educating the novice audience and giving them all the information about horse racing and explaining its betting intricacies. This can further be enhanced by showing detailed information about past races so punters can make informed decisions.
That said, there are a few big positives as well to notice. Just like cricket betting or football betting, people can watch the races live online and bet accordingly – however, the live streaming will take place on the turf club’s website. Punters can also watch highlights of the past races to make their betting slips more concrete.
It is also good to see that these newly-launched betting operators are committed to responsible gambling. Betting enthusiasts can set their own limitations and restrictions to not get carried away – something that was lacking in physical betting.
It’s not just Mysore – You can Bet on Madras, Bangalore Races too!
Horse racing connoisseurs from Bangalore, Madras, Hyderabad, and Kolkata can also hit the tracks virtually and bet on their favourite races. MRC accepts the bets for races in turf clubs from these cities in what is a big step toward moving horse racing online. However, the information for past results and everything else can be found on the website of the respective race clubs.
This is certainly a positive development in keeping the races alive and cutting down on income losses. As the audience becomes more aware and educated with time, we can soon expect this to become a new norm in the future. It can also set the way forward for other sports as well in terms of online betting.