States Eye Revenue Opportunities as Betting Reaches New Heights on The Everest Day
Racing authorities across the country are gearing up to replicate the success of The Everest by orchestrating a three-week celebration of the sport, culminating with the iconic Melbourne Cup, starting next year.
In just seven years, The Everest has risen to prominence as a major event on the Australian sporting calendar. Racing jurisdictions across the country are now devising feature races to complement the illustrious $20 million Randwick sprint and capitalise on its wagering surge.
Every state experiences a significant boost in turnover around The Everest, including key dates such as Caulfield Guineas and Caulfield Cup day in Melbourne. The slot race has transformed into a juggernaut, generating massive attention, bumper crowds and substantial revenue for the sport.
Think about took out the 2023 edition of The Everest on Saturday, beating I Wish I Win and Private Eye to the post in Australia’s richest horse race.
Racing NSW Chief Executive, Peter V’landys, commended the Melbourne Racing Club for embracing The Everest, turning it into the country’s most significant Saturday of racing. He noted that other states are benefiting from this phenomenon and can maximise their revenues with strategic planning and well-programmed races.
One state is contemplating a two-race series to be held on The Everest and Melbourne Cup days, potentially offering bonuses and triggering premium race field fees to boost revenue.
“The Melbourne Cup remains a different audience to normal race days because of its place in Australian culture,” V’landys said.
“We have put The Big Dance on [Melbourne Cup] day, not to compete with it but to take advantage of racing being the centre of attention.”
“It is what other states can do as well with Everest and Melbourne Cup days. The Melbourne Cup is one of biggest days of the year, but for a Saturday, The Everest and Caulfield combine to stand above everything else. It’s good for racing around the country because we have the eyes of the sporting nation on us.”
Josh Blanksby, CEO of the Melbourne Racing Club, highlighted the direct benefits of partnering with The Everest meeting.
“For the sport to go forward we needed to work together, and this day shows what can be achieved for racing by appreciating each other’s big days and strengths,” Blanksby stated.
“Our audience isn’t restricted to Melbourne and Sydney, so this day can still get bigger.”
The high-profile administrators’ sentiments mark a significant shift after the announcement of the inaugural The Big Dance at Randwick in 2022 – held 30 minutes after the Melbourne Cup – attracted accusations of ambush marketing from the Victoria Racing Club against Racing NSW.
Racing officials in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia were among the corporate guests who attended The Everest at Randwick, where discussions took place on how to leverage Everest day to promote the sport. There is a growing recognition that The Everest has captivated a new audience, drawing crowds to racetracks across the country and boosting wagering.
The Hill Smith Stakes, a traditional Victoria Derby lead-up in South Australia, held on Saturday, may receive increased prizemoney to elevate it into the premium race fields fee category.
Adelaide and Brisbane have already adopted 10-race cards this spring to enhance revenue.
The influence of The Everest extends beyond Australia, with the World Pool enabling punters from numerous countries to participate in multi-million-dollar tote pools. The Hong Kong Jockey Club reported that The Everest on Saturday marked the largest-ever Australian race for betting in the racing hub.
Meanwhile, one New Zealand punter scooped the entire $10 million prize pool offered by the NZ TAB for correctly predicting the exact finishing order of the entire The Everest field.