In Balance with Leland Vittert
(NewsNation) – As the horse racing world prepares for the Kentucky Derby this weekend, a sports betting analyst told NewsNation that he is concerned about the long-term health of the sport.
Several trends are going in the wrong direction for the Derby over the past decade, according to the Lexington Herald Leader. Attendance fell 13% from 2015 to 2019. TV ratings fell 14% since 2019.
And, crucially for a sports betting analyst, the amount of money wagered on the Derby has fallen by 7% since 2019.
Frankie Taddeo, who writes for Sports Illustrated, says major apps including DraftKings and FanDuel have made betting on all sports so easy that horse racing has lost one of its charms.
On top of that, DraftKings does not offer horse racing betting, and FanDuel requires users to leave their mobile app and download another to do so. It’s a clumsy process that at least partly explains why the amount of money wagered on last year’s Derby is only 3% of what was wagered on the last Super Bowl.
“I grew up with sports,” Taddeo said on Thursday’s “On Balance with Leland Vittert” show. “It’s really going to be in the [sports book] in the hands of the operators – if they can find a way to attract some of the younger bettors and offer it on the mobile platform. »
In the age of using the glass screen in your pocket for everything, fewer people are willing to find a real betting window. As a result, brick and mortar locations are disappearing.
At the height of the sport, there were over 300 racetracks in America. At the time, casinos were not widely available. Since 2000, however, 41 tracks have closed, and only three have opened in their place.
“Right now, unless you go to one of the tracks or Atlantic City or the brick and mortar places…you really can’t go down and bet on horse racing,” Taddeo said.
And as horse racing has declined, sports betting on other events has evolved.
DraftKings, FanDuel and similar apps give gambling hopefuls some seed money to place a bet on almost any major sports league from their phones. Taddeo also points out that they offer more types of bets than before, such as a player’s final stats.
“I hope [horse racing] can come back,” Taddeo said. Until then, he can only watch and keep betting.
The 148th Kentucky Derby will take place on Saturday.