Cup spending shows big rise

Punters in Southland recorded the largest yearly increase in gambling on the Melbourne Cup than anywhere else in the country.

TAB spokesman John Mitchell said yesterday spending in the region had risen by 20 per cent, in comparison to the day of the Melbourne Cup last year - more than twice the national figure, which recorded an 8.4 per cent increase in spending.

"It was far and away the biggest swing . . . there must be some keen Melbourne Cup fans down that way," he said.

Northland recorded the next-biggest jump across New Zealand, with an increase of 16 per cent, he said.

Southlanders spent almost $50,000 more during the event, now known as The Race That Stops Two Nations, than during the race the year before.

Southland spending on the TAB's retail network, which includes pubs and its own stores, came in at $237,000 on Tuesday, compared to $189,000 on the day of the Melbourne Cup in 2011.

While the TAB was unable to look at account-holders specifically, money spent at retailers was generally a good indicator of the same sorts of trends happening online and through telephone betting, Mr Mitchell said.

Nationally, punters bet $20 million on various racing and sporting events throughout the day on Tuesday.

The Southland Times