Date of this Version
Business in Nebraska vol. 51 no. 610
In its heyday, the 1920s through the late 1950s, horse racing was a highly popular spectator sport. But after decades of prosperity, horse racing has flashed warning signs of economic trouble. Throughout the industry, old tracks, like Hialeah, are closing and new tracks are experiencing economic difficulties due to legalized off-track betting and other forms of legalized gambling.1 Off-track betting and inter-track wagering, along with the proliferation of other gambling options, have been cited by many as reasons for the recent decline in both on-track horse racing attendance and handle.
A widening gap between horse racing and other forms of wagering represents a shift in American gambling behavior. This shift in gambling preferences has long-term implications for the horse racing industry in general and specific implications for the industry in Nebraska.
National Horse Racing Attendance and Wagering
National Horse Racing Pari-Mutuel Handle Trends
Trends in Nebraska Horse Racing