Horse Racing, Greyhound Racing and Breeding in Australasia

Thursday Aug 21st, 2014


The continent of Oceania is sometimes referred to as Australasia which is mostly Australia but includes New Zealand and some other minor islands. Pari-Mutuel betting is not very common in the rest of the minor islands but in Australia and New Zealand it is as big as anywhere else in the world.

New Zealand TAB initiated the world's first Government-run totalisator betting service in 1951. When TAB began sports betting in 1996 fixed odds betting was added to its horse and greyhound gambling options. It was not until 2003 when the New Zealand racing board was set up that it conducted a survey and they found out that racing generates some 1.3% of New Zealand's gdp - around $1.5bn per year.

Major world class horse races are held in Australasia including the world famous Melbourne Cup, a race that attracts top thoroughbreds from all corners of the globe.

Australians are known for betting on anything and the wide range of pari-mutuel betting also includes greyhound racing, harness racing (trotters), Jai Alai and Arabian racing. New Zealand has one authority for greyhound racing the New Zealand Greyhound Racing Association which has 5 tracks on the Northern Island and 3 on the Southern Island. Australia has individual racing associations in the States of Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and Southern Australia. All tracks are members of the very respected World Greyhound Racing Federation.

Probably only the USA has more Harness racing than Australia which alone has 34 tracks. The most famous is likely Canberra. In New Zealand also there are major venues and in 2007 both the World Drivers Championships and World Trotting Conference were held in the country.