It will be business as usual for the Stawell Gift’s bookmakers with organisers backing away from plans to outlaw on-course betting on one of Australia’s oldest sporting events.

Stawell Gift betting.
A ban on on-course bookmakers fielding at the 2024 Stawell Gift has been lifted. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Less than two weeks after announcing a blanket wagering ban on the 2024 Gift in response to a new policy prohibiting betting on minors in sport, Stawell Gift Event Management Limited (SGEM) has reversed its decision.

A Victoria Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) ruling that makes it illegal for Victorian wagering operators to accept bets on under-18 athletes and under-19 competitions came into force on February 26.

Amid an outcry from sporting traditionalists, Stawell Gift promotors took the ban further, ending more than a century of bookmaking tradition associated with the race.

The prohibitions do not apply to a non-Victorian wagering service provider (WSP) offering bets on a minor to a non-Victorian account holder where the bet is placed outside of the state, regardless of where the event is played.

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