What Is Horse Gambling: Everything You Need To Know

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Horse racing has been a popular sport in India for a long time. It catches the attention of gamblers and sports enthusiasts alike. Horse gambling or betting on horse racing is, thus, a favourite amongst gamblers looking for their daily dose of adrenaline.

Today, India’s racing and breeding industry has flourished so much that horse gambling is done only with Indian-bred horses. However, with a 28% GST tax on horse race wagers, India’s horse gambling is slightly different from the rest of the world. In Indian horse gambling, gamblers can place their bets on the game either trackside or off-course with the help of a bookmaker.

To enter the world of horse gambling, you must understand the basics. Select the racetrack of your choice, the race you want to bet on, the amount of money you want to wager, the kind of wager, and the number of horses you want to bet on to place a smart bet.

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There are a lot of bet types in horse racing in India. Some of them, including straight wagers and exotic wagers, are:

Win- This is the simplest of all bets. In this bet, the bettor decides which horse will win the race.

Place- In this bet, the bettor places bets on the horses that will come in the first, second, and third positions.

SHP- Short form for second horse pool, this kind of bet allows the bettor to pick only the horse that will come in the second in the race.

Forecast- The horse which will come in first and second will be chosen by the bettor. A particular order needs to be decided here.

Quinella- As forecast, here too, the bettor selects which horses will come first and second but in no particular order.

Jodi- The bettor selects two horses to win. If either of those two wins, the bettor stands to win the bet.

Bar Bet- Different from other bets, the bettor places a bet not on the winning horse but the losing one. Hence, any horse other than the chosen one winning the race means the bettor has won the bet.

Jackpot- In Jackpot, the bettor has to decide the winning horses of five different races. If all of them win, the bettor wins.

Is horse gambling legal in India?

In the eyes of the law, betting on horse racing is very much legal in India. That is because betting on horses is seen as more of a show of skill than a game of chance. This was decided in the ruling by the Supreme Court of India in 1996. Since then, the sport has regained its popularity and is now seen as a legal way to wager money on horse gambling.

Even though people around the world like to engage in gambling on horse races, Indian society still showcases some degree of disdain for gambling in general. This lack of comfort shows itself in horse gambling as well. Hence, there are a lot of State-wise legislations that either permit or ban horse gambling.

The regulatory body of horse gambling

The Turf Authority of India (TAI) is the leading authority on regulating the sport. The TAI comprises the following seven race clubs:

  1. Royal Calcutta Turf Club at Kolkata
  2. Royal Western India Turf Club Ltd at Mumbai and Pune
  3. Madras Race Club at Chennai and Ootacamund
  4. Bangalore Turf Club Ltd at Bangalore
  5. Hyderabad Race Club at Hyderabad
  6. Mysore Race Club Ltd. at Mysore
  7. Delhi Race Club

Every turf club here is governed by an electing committee decided by the TAI, and each of these clubs has separate memberships and eligibility criteria to become a member. Therefore, any person willing to bet legally and be a part of horse racing must fulfill their chosen club's criteria from those mentioned above. However, those unregistered at the Turf clubs can also place their bets on the sport at a few centres, such as the Airport Counter at Bangalore and the Mangalore Counter.


Unlike other games that are purely based on luck, horse gambling requires a lot of knowledge, even if it involves gambling. But how does gambling become safer in this sport?

Firstly, anyone looking to place their wager must understand the history of the players and the horses as well as which racetrack is the sport being played on. It is also essential to look at the forms of the jockey and the trainer while placing your bets. Finally, it would be best to consider the horse race odds while choosing the horse to place your betting money on. Odds in horse racing determine the chances of success of your horse winning the race. In general, the lower the chances, the higher the return the bettor will receive on their bets. The best way to ensure you don’t lose a lot of money on betting is to set your budget. The horse racing predictions also provide excellent input for smart betting. This makes horse gambling less risky.

There is a long way to go for the Indian society to accept this as an intelligent sport. However, things are slowly but surely changing!

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