horse racing

Gambling Gallops Away During Australia’s Melbourne Cup

October 27, 2022 | Updated November 3, 2022

Makybe Diva. Prince of Penzance. Americain. 

Outside of Australia, these names might not mean much, but Down Under they’re almost household names. 

Each are winners of the Melbourne Cup, an event also known as “the race that stops a nation”. Held on the first Tuesday of November, the race is so well-renowned it even warrants a public holiday in its home state of Victoria. 

While the action brings offices to a standstill across the country, it also brings a whole new cohort of punters to online betting sites – people who for the rest of the year gamble rarely, if at all.

But how much more traffic do these gambling sites receive?

Australian web traffic to gambling sites spikes the day before Melbourne Cup

Melbourne Cup traffic

  • The average daily traffic across the nine websites analyzed was 716,838
  • In 2020, with some lockdowns and restrictions still in place, traffic to online gambling sites was 254% higher than average on Monday, November 2.
  • In 2021, with restrictions eased and in-venue betting available, traffic to online gambling sites was still 179% higher than average on Monday, November 1. 

The traffic numbers on the day before the Melbourne Cup tower over the rest of the year. While the average daily traffic to the nine leading sites is around 716,000, during Melbourne Cup this surges significantly. 

Last year, traffic to these sites increased by 179 percent, while in 2020 it more than tripled. We believe the traffic spike in 2020 was more pronounced as many pubs, bars, and racetracks were closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. This meant anyone who wanted to place a bet had to do so online.

Three leading sites command 84 percent of Australian betting traffic

TAB, Sportsbet, and Bet365 lead Australia’s online betting industry. 

Search terms driving traffic to online gambling sites in November 2021 highlight a spike in betting activity related to Melbourne Cup. 

Melbourne Cup traffic share

Melbourne Cup search terms

Although Australians have a wide range of gambling sites to choose from to place their bets, three sites dominate the industry. TAB, SportsBet, and Bet365 collectively own 84 percent of Australia’s gambling traffic, with TAB out in front by a few lengths commanding just over a third of the traffic share.

When analyzing the search terms driving traffic to these sites in November, it’s clear Melbourne Cup is the driving whip. Of the top 10 search terms in November last year, eight of the top 10 were all related to the race that stops a nation.

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