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UncategorizedArizona Horse Racing – A Beginners Guide

Arizona Horse Racing – A Beginners Guide

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When it comes to horse racing and more predominantly, betting on such events, there is something of a mixed feeling within the state of Arizona. A mix that comes with an element of the state’s population who enjoy the glamour of racing events, while others take less favour to such occasions.

However, it is fair to say that those who show displeasure at the act of gambling within Arizona are in the minority and for those who do like to test their betting acumen with a regular wager or two, there are plenty of available options for them to do so.

Options that primarily come within the world of equine prowess and although the state only has a single live horse racing track, that is not to say that Arizona does not have more than one eye on the future.

Because even though live racing only takes place within the confines of the Colonial Downs, there are a number of locations that offer the ability to bet on historical horse racing machines or HHR’s as they are otherwise known.

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Photo by Julia Joppien on Unsplash. 

What is an HHR?

An historical horse racing machine (HHR) is a system that combines archived race events with slot machine play and in doing so, it has created a rather valuable revenue stream for the Colonial Downs to collect.

That’s because this particular venue has only been back in operation since 2019 and after lying dormant for six years, the sound of operating turnstiles two years ago would have been rather welcome.

Then again, the owners of the Colonial Downs would not have been able to envisage what was lying just around the corner and with the world being caught in the grip of a global pandemic, horse racing was certainly not immune to such disruption.

To the point where the sporting landscape has had to evolve over the past 18 months and with live racing not taking place during the majority of the time, it has at least allowed HHR’s to collect revenue instead.

Something that may well have been the difference between being able to operate in the present day or having to padlock the gates just months after they were opened for a second time and for this reason alone, HHR’s can be considered the saviour.

While the question is whether HHR’s are to the detriment of the Arizona sports betting scene or whether this delayed method of gambling (to the point where the race has already been run) can co-exist with live offerings.


With the answer being, that due to the global pandemic that is still lingering in the atmosphere at the time of writing, perhaps these two entities have needed to co-exist and one must not forget that the venue’s that host the HHR’s themselves have also struggled to open at times.

Therefore, where the wagers have gone in recent times has been a rather fluid concept and although many still prefer the tried and tested method of betting with a sportsbook, there is something to be said for trying your luck on a virtual terminal at the same time.

Some quarters will suggest that it is nothing more than pure luck when using an HHR terminal and although that may be the case, it does also remove a barrier to entry when it comes to those who want to test that very same luck.

Because with the gamification and more importantly the simplification of horse racing via HHR’s, it means the complexities of studying form guides, weights and ground types are now almost a thing of the past.

That’s not to say that horse racing within the state of Arizona is solely going to be a virtual pursuit from now on, it’s more that the sport has had to adapt like so many other disciplines within the past year or so.

Which means with revenue being collected via technological means, it will allow the Colonial Downs to ride out this rather rough piece of turf and more importantly, be able to stage race events long into the future.

Of course, if events are staged long into the future, the row regarding gambling within Arizona will rumble on. However, even if there is a row that continues, those who own the Downs will settle for that noise if it means they can turn a profit at the racetrack

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