Employees at the Oakbank racing club say traditional bookmakers are slowly disappearing, as gamblers prefer to place their bets online.
The final day of the Easter racing carnival drew more than 30,000 people to the race tracks. The event included the running of the Great Eastern Steeplechase. But bookmaker Eddie Lapko said there were only about 10 bookies at the tracks.
“It sort of takes that entertainment value away from racing, so anyone can go to the TAB and bet whatever but when you got a bookie there it’s sort of intimate too,” the man said.
Online sportsbooks taking over
According to Oakbank Racing Club chairman John Glatz, online and mobile betting is slowly taking over and people can expect to see even fewer bookies at the race tracks.
“People have got so many areas – they can gamble now with their telephones and their laptops and their tablets. The bookies, unfortunately, are a bit of a dying breed,” he claims.
Gamblers have countless websites where they can bet on sports in Australia, all from the comfort and privacy of their own home.
Meanwhile, as people are starting to lose interest in wagering on horse races, protestors are calling for an end to jumps racing. No horses have fallen this year, but New Zealand jockey Matthew Cropp was involved in a bad incident at the Von Doussa Steeplechase, breaking his leg, shoulder, collarbone and arm.