What Was The Revenue Of the Horse Racing Industry In 2021?

Horse racing is a sport that dates back thousands of years. However, the first horse race of the format that we know today was first documented in 1651 and since then the horse racing industry has had upward momentum.

Nowadays, horse racing is a multi-billion dollar industry which huge prize purses, and astonishing wagering handle that increases year by year.

When it comes to the popularity of the sport, horse racing is on another level in the past couple of years. One of the reasons why the horse racing industry is growing is because of its availability. There are new markets like the middle-east and Asia that want to make this sport popular.

Plus, if you follow the official Kentucky Derby odds by TwinSpires, you will know how much this sport and especially the big Triple Crown events have an impact on bookmakers’ revenue.

On top of that, the global horse racing community grows thanks to the media coverage of the sport. Horse racing is now covered by many movie production companies, books, TV shows, and internet news, increasing its popularity.

All of these can be backed up by data from the past couple of years.

Horse Racing Industry Data

Although many experts predicted the demise of horse racing betting for years, the market has been growing much more than predicted. Although some countries limit the number of races per year, and some cancel their organization, the total betting and viewer time is increasing.

In fact, according to the economic indicator data by Equibase, the U.S horse racing betting industry has been booming. In 2021, the horse racing industry in the U.S recorded the largest annual wagering handle number since 2009.

The total wagering handle topped up an amazing $12.2 billion in 2021, which was a double-digit increase over 2020 or 11.86%.

With that said, the total purses in the U.S also increased in 2021, exceeding $1.1 billion, which is more than a 35.77% increase over the previous year. The average purses per race day also increased by over 10% to just shy of $290,000.

The only thing that declined compared to 2020 is the average wagering per race day, which declined by 9.29% from $3,307 to $3,000 per bet.

Global Horse Racing Industry Market

In the past couple of years, horse racing has experienced difficulties in maintaining the same popularity due to the COVID-19 and race cancellation. This is not just the case with horse racing, but with every other sport.

The horse racing market was valued at $300 billion in 2019, and it was expected to rise over the next couple of years. Last year, the global horse racing market increased its value to more than $300 billion, and experts predict that this trend will continue to at least 2024, where the entire industry is poised to grow by $140 billion at a CAGR of 9%.

The biggest markets are Europe with $133 billion and the United States with $102 billion. Other markets are falling back with Canada $16 billion, UK $8 billion, $5 billion Australia, and $2 billion China.

With the rising popularity of horse racing in other countries, we expect the total value of the sport to continue to rise.

It is important to mention that the market size of horse racing, in the U.S in particular has decreased since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. The horse racing market since 2012 had a steady size of around $5 billion. But after the pandemic outbreak and the lack of horse racing events, the total market size in the U.S dropped to $3.4 billion.

The same situation is in different parts of the world and it seems like the horse racing industry will need some time to recover from the crisis. With that said, it is on a good path since 2021 recorded an increase in the market size, and this year we are in with a good start.


Horse racing is one of the most widely attended sports in certain parts of the world, and a trending sport for all the bettors. With the increase in the popularity of the sport, and making it more available in certain regions, the future for the horse racing industry looks bright.

Even though we are talking about a multi-billion dollar industry, we’ve still haven’t even scratched the surface of the potential of the sport.