A Daily Photo Blog about Life in Northern New South Wales, Australia.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

July Racing Carnival No 4 - The Slow Death of the Bookmakers Ring

It wasn't too long ago that the atmospheric and monetary heart of the races was the Bookies Ring. Oh what a sad slow death they are enduring and how much less the races is without their competitive yelling of odds and banter. They have been squeezed to death by the monolithic N.S.W TAB, corporate bookmakers with interstate addresses and heavy taxation by the Government. 
I still miss the old fractional odds they used and I understood far better how much I stood to win or lose with 'even money', '4/1' or 'in the red' than 2.00, 5.00 or 1.90. I miss the old tickets with their often indecipherable swish of crayon and the huge ledgers that bets were recorded in. At least they still have the old bags for the money.
Only a decade ago there would be nearly 100 bookmakers at the July Racing Carnival, now there are only a quarter of that. 
You can picture a time in the near future when there will be none left at all, just the blinking screens of the totaliser. Racing is a much poorer event without their colourful presence.

3 comments:

  1. I have only been to the races once in my life: maybe 40 years ago with my mother to Randwick. She spent most of her day running back and forth to a window and shovelling money into the tray. Somehow, I thought I would get close to the horses. My hopes were never realised. I love the smell and sound of a sweaty horse ...

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  2. How sad the Bookies are being squeezed out by big corporations they add to the atmosphere of race day or night :-).

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  3. I haven't been to the races for a while, but going in a couple of weeks. Will see how it compares with your experience.

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