One has to be just a little upset with the horse ‘flu which is rampaging through th Australian racing stables at the moment. But only for the sick horses. Not for the industry to which they have been enslaved.
From the Australian Government’s Rural Industries Research and Development Coorporation:Wagering on racing is a big industry in Australia. In 1997-98 over $11.6 billion was wagered on thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing, with a net taking of $1.6 billion (ABS 8684).
The Government is very happy that they can retrieve and additional significant contribution to government revenue. In 1997-98 overnment revenue from betting was $452.1 million from thoroughbred racing and $119.6 million from harness and greyhound racing (ARB 1999).
In my mind this is $11.6 billion (now probably 3 x that amount), of wasted wealth. Do race horses add any real value to society? No. So all the resources coming out of our productive primary industries and manufacturing that are spent on racehorses are resources being thrown away on triviality. At least the government gets some of it and can put some into roads and health. Most of that revenue probably goes on the problem gamblers and the devastation they wreck on their families and communities.