2020 Melbourne Cup Expected to Take Online Betting Revenue through the Roof

Michael Kruse / 28 October 2020

Last Updated on 30 March 2022

The 2020 Melbourne Cup, also known as the race that stops the nation, is expected to bring huge betting revenue when the Australian horse racing event takes place next week.

This will be the first time that the Cup is run in front of an empty Flemington Racecourse. However, Australian bookies think that the empty trackside won’t have any adverse effects on the wagering revenue they make, especially the turnover coming from their online betting sites.

Positive Online Betting Trend to Continue

Adam Rytenskild, the head of betting at Tabcorp said that the expected the positive online betting trend that coincided with the start of COVID-19 restrictions to continue and culminate with the 2020 Melbourne Cup.

Online sports wagering has been on the rise after the pandemic brought Australia to a halt. Online horse racing wagers have been a big part of the rise in revenue.

A good example of this upward trend is the Caulfield Cup, which took place last week. On Cup Day, the betting turnover increased 32 per cent compared to last year, and that’s a massive increase when you consider that the majority of those bets were placed from online betting accounts.

Mr Rytenskild explained the rise in online betting activity with people looking for something to do while they are forced to stay at home.

He also said that even though most bets came from online punters, the reopening of retail betting venues helped too.

Horse Racing Continued when other Sporting Codes Stopped

Another reason why we are seeing such high betting revenue numbers is the fact that horse racing events were held even when the pandemic was at its strongest. When other Australian sporting codes and competitions stopped, horse racing continued.

According to Dean Shannon, GVC’s Australia’s chief executive, the steady increase in betting turnover that Ladbrokes and Neds saw on the Sydney and Melbourne carnival races should also continue into Melbourne Cup week.

Best Online Betting Offers in Months

The fact that online wagering is now in everyone’s focus means one thing – the competition among bookies is stronger than ever before. A quick look on industry-wide over-round confirms this.

Over-round, also known as bookmakers’ margin, is the theoretical profit that sportsbooks make from the odds they give to players. The higher the odds are, the lower the over-round and profits that bookmakers see.

According to JP Morgan analyst, Don Carducci, Australian bookies now are more punter-friendly than ever before. In his opinion, this is the direct result of the fierce rivalry between the TAB brand and online betting providers such as Sportsbet and Ladbrokes.

Mr Carducci said that the industry-wide over-round is at a 12-month low, and that means that bookmakers are sacrificing profits for getting greater exposure.

More Enticing Online Betting Bonuses

Mind you, these estimates are only based on the profit bookmakers make from the odds they give to punters. When you factor in the various bonus offers and promotions sportsbooks give, you come to the conclusion that bookmakers only make a small profit these days.

However, we have to be aware that all of those concessions that bookies make are with the view of inviting more players to wager at their betting sites and to increase their profits in the long-run.

Based on current evidence, though, Aussie punters seem to not have a problem with that, and the betting revenue from the 2020 Melbourne Cup will probably prove this beyond any doubt.

Michael Kruse
Michael loves all things all horse racing and has been in the game for quite some time. His knowledge in the betting space is second... [Read full bio]

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