Australia’s newest grandstand horse race, the Everest, has now become the second biggest betting race in Australia with betting turnover passing the $100 million mark over the weekend.
Just as Archer won the first two runnings of the country’s biggest race, the Melbourne Cup, back in 1860 and 1861, now Redzel has taken the first two Everest’s, with the betting public supporting the event with huge amounts of cash.
Betting turnover on Everest day was up 16% on the inaugural running last year, with the TAB, the Australian Tote, corporate firms and online operations combined. To prove the whole nation got involved, the New South Wales TAB, local to the race, was up by 9% which is some way below the overall surge.
The increases in wagering turnover were somewhat of a surprise, given that miserable weather meant a heavy track and poor conditions for on course race goers. However, the Everest has now immediately stamped its place as the biggest betting race other than the prestigious and historic Melbourne Cup.
Given the success of the weekend racing at Randwick, Australian Turf Club officials are now said to be considering utilising greater marquee space to house even more people on course at next year’s meeting when turnover is expected to soar even more.
All this comes on the back of controversy surrounding the build up to the race, when protests were staged at the Sydney Opera House, following the decision to allow the colours of all the Everest runners to be displayed on the famous landmark for six minutes in the days leading up to the race.
Australia has been gripped by what has been described as a gambling epidemic but, though bingo and casino games may still be a problem, the Everest has shown there is no lack of appetite for betting on horse racing despite any bad press.
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Having been immersed in the worlds of sports betting and writing for the past 20 years, Gary Christie has vast experience on the subjects. He has produced content for various leading websites, including both TVG and Mr Green Casino. Contact Gary at email@example.com.