There’s a fear amongst the horse racing industry that youth interest in the sport is falling and concern that when the current generation of horse racing fans dies out, there won’t be any new generations following the sport.
In order to increase spectator interest in the sport, it’s been suggested that the horse racing industry should follow the route taken by other sports, using technology to make the sport up close and personal for spectators. Take motor racing as an example. With cockpit cameras installed in many of the vehicles, fans can get a driver’s eye view of the race track, which really adds to the excitement as you’re watching. Fans of NASCAR can pay to log into the driver’s dashboard camera and really feel like they’re a part of the sport. This perspective on the race may offer an added advantage when people are looking at the Betfair NASCAR Sprint Champion odds, for example.
The same kind of thing is possible for horse racing through the use of jockey cams. Already, the fact that you can use betting exchange Betfair’s app to place a horse racing bet on your mobile means that betting on horse races and other sports can be more spontaneous than it used to be – something that definitely chimes with younger generations. But tie that in with being able to watch the race you’ve got a bet on from the jockey’s perspective and it’s bound to increase the numbers of people who want to watch racing and get behind the sport.
The technology for jockey cams already exists – consisting of an extremely lightweight camera that is fitted to the jockey’s helmet. It’s already possible to experience the Grand National ride around the famous course in Aintree, UK, via jockey cam. If you’re going to place a bet on Betfair, it can be really helpful to check out a course before you decide how much you’re going to wager.
The horse racing industry is reliant on the amount of people placing bets and having jockey cams could really affect the numbers of bets being placed. But there’s a possibility that this could be negative. For example, if one jockey had a camera while others didn’t in the race, would that affect his odds on a site like Betfair? Would gamblers need to think about the weight of the camera (however light that it is) and whether that would affect the jockey’s performance?
There’s a lot to consider before jockey cams become commonplace in races, and the associations who run the sport need to give the concept their full approval. In the States, the New York Racing Association and the Jockeys’ Guild have shown interest in the idea, but it’s not been taken any further as yet.
However, as technology becomes woven into every aspect of our lives, it’s more likely than not that the horse racing industry will approve the use of jockey cams eventually.