In 1835, the British Parliament banned blood sports except fox hunting in a law that was implemented in Australia; this was not taken well in the country as it was seen as an attack on the working classes.
By the late 1830s, horse racing was established in New South Wales and other parts of the country, and enjoyed support across class lines.
Gambling was part of sport from the time horse racing became an established sport in the colony.
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Sport in Australia is an important part of Australian culture dating back to the early colonial period.
Cricket, Australian rules football, rugby union and horse racing are among the earliest organised sports in Australia.
Sport has shaped the Australian national identity through events such as the Ashes, the Melbourne Cup and the America's Cup.
There are a number of professional sport leagues in Australia, including the Australian Football League (Australian rules football), the Big Bash League and Sheffield Shield (cricket), the National Basketball League and the Women's National Basketball League, the A-League and the W-League (soccer), the Australian Baseball League, the National Rugby League (rugby league), Super Rugby (rugby union), the ANZ Championship (netball) and the International V8 Supercars Championship (touring car racing).
Attendance for the A-League, AFL and NRL over the course of a single season tops six million.
Major professional sports leagues in Australia are similar to major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada in that they do not practice promotion and relegation, unlike sports leagues in Europe.The media plays an important part in Australia's sporting landscape, with many sporting events televised or broadcast on radio.The government has anti-siphoning laws to protect free-to-air stations.Beyond televising live events, there are many sport-related television and radio programs, as well as several magazine publications dedicated to sport.Australian sport has also been the subject of Australian-made films such as The Club, Australian Rules, The Final Winter and Footy Legends.As a nation, Australia has competed in many international events, including the Olympics and Paralympics.