Betting for the Everest Horse Race has been suspended amid bitter discussions whether the Sydney Opera House should be used to promote the event.
Racing NSW has shared concerns that there are major “security risks” because of which it had decided to conduct the draw prior to the event in order to bypass risks that might occur. In a statement released by the organisation, the latter revealed that its stewards will advise all gambling operators this evening after the companies allow bets to be made on the event.
— Omar Dabbagh (@Omar_Dabbagh) October 9, 2018
The original plan was for a live barrier draw to be conducted, with the results set to be displayed onto the iconic building’s sails.
— Nick Dole (@NicholasDole) October 9, 2018
However, last week Louise Herron, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Sydney Opera House, opposed to that plan, explaining that it would violate certain guidelines under which there are some limits on the type of content which is allowed to be projected onto the building. This position, however, was overridden by the NSW Government following the verbal clash between Ms. Herron and broadcaster Alan Jones over the race’s value to the local economy.
Campaigners Get More than 250,000 Signatures to Stop Projection
The plan to promote the Everest Horse Race on the sails of the Opera House in Sydney has fuelled public outrage, with some counter-protests being organised. An online petition has also been rolled out, with more than 250,000 signatures being gathered against the projection in order for the building to be saved from commercialisation. National cricket and rugby events, as well as the Olympic Games, have already been promoted on the sails of Sydney Opera House but according to campaigners, gambling operators should not be given the chance to use the same platform to promote their services.
I'd never heard of this Everest horse race and probably wouldn't have if not for the controversy. They've sadly been given free publicity beyond their wildest dreams.
— Chris Kaias (@ChrisKaias) October 9, 2018
The Government of New South Wales has shared its concern that the power to the Sydney Opera House could be cut by staff as a form of protest against the idea of using the building in the campaign to promote the world’s largest turf horse race. The Government has already held high-level meetings in order to discuss the above-mentioned potential security risks, including the Sydney Opera House staff tampering with the projection.
Reportedly, Scott Morrison, the Premier of New South Wales, has backed the decision for the projection of further details about the Everest Horse Race on the building. Last week, he confronted Opera House CEO Herron who had not agreed to the projection of adverts related to the race on the venue’s sails.
“I just don’t understand why we tie ourselves up in knots about these things.” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Jones’ 2GB show radio
However, as mentioned above, the wider public blamed Racing NSW for “assaulting” the Opera House which is currently a World Heritage-listed building.