Human impacts of horse racing

Last updated 29 October 2020

All too overlooked is the negative effect of the horse and greyhound racing industries on human wellbeing. Horse and greyhound racing exists solely for, and is supported by, gambling.

According to the Australian Gambling Statistics, betting on animal racing in Australia increased 7.1% in the 2017 – 2018 period, to a total of A$3.547 billion. The negative effects of gambling, and addictive nature of the process, have the capacity to destroy human lives. Aside from the financial outlay and risk of debt and bankruptcy, the effects on the personal lives of those affected warrant consideration in a compassionate society. Remorse and stress can lead to self-isolation and substance abuse problems. Interpersonal relationships are also affected, with the Australian Gambling Research Centre finding consistent evidence of a correlation between gambling behaviours and family violence, and a high risk of gambling behaviours extending to the children of problem gamblers, thus passing between generations. 

If you or a loved one need support with problem gambling, visit Lifeline or call the Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858.