Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Racing NSW Has Suspended Everest Bets Until This Evening

Racing NSW Has Suspended Everest Bets Until This Evening

"Racing NSW has made the decision to conduct the draw prior to the event to circumvent any security risks that may exist".

The radio presenter said he was bombarded with "anonymous phone calls. every minute" after The Chaser projected his personal mobile phone number onto the sails of the Opera House and on the walls of NSW Parliament House the previous night.

The forecourt and surrounding areas of the Opera House were packed with onlookers and people looking to make a stand against the use of the building to promote race colours, barrier draw numbers and The Everest Trophy for the lucrative event.

Broadcaster Alan Jones was accused of bullying in an on-air interview with Opera House chief executive Louise Herron, an accusation he initially refuted before publicly apologising.

Controversy continues to plague The Everest horse race, with Racing NSW now suspending all bets on the event - billed as the "world's richest race on turf" - until this evening citing "security risks".

The original plan was to conduct a live barrier draw and project the result onto the Opera House sails.

Berejiklian said she was "incredibly comfortable" with her decision to intervene and allow horse racing adverting on the Opera House.

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The NSW Heritage Council said it was extremely disappointed with the government's decision which would turn the "international architectural masterpiece" into a billboard.

On Friday, Mr Jones had called for Ms Herron's sacking after she resisted The Everest's initial proposal, saying the building was not a "billboard".

"I used some words in these programs about the Everest, and the Opera House, and Louise, which in hindsight I now most regret hearing, having heard the impact they've clearly had on some people", he told his 2GB listeners this morning.

When asked whether the promotion was legal, a spokesman for NSW Heritage Minister Gabrielle Upton pointed to the same exemptions they had been questioned over.

Mr Quint said the government still hadn't explained how projecting advertising onto the sails adhered to the exemptions.

"The specific exemption for the Opera House says you can't do it if it's commercial", Mr Quint said.

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