Hollywoodbets is the new sponsor of South Africa’s premier horse race, the Durban July. The grand race’s total purse has been raised to R5 million for the 2022 run – a 250% increase from last year’s stake and a significant jump from the previous high of R3.5 million offered before the pandemic.
Hollywoodbets, a South Africa-based betting company that is growing rapidly at home and abroad, has also raised R13 million for higher stakes during KwaZulu-Natal’s winter season – which will headline in July.
This boost is for both feature races and minor races that will be held in the province between March 1 and August 31.
Yet another initiative announced at this week’s sponsorship announcement between Hollywoodbets and KZN race operator Gold Circle is an increase in the prize money for grooms of winning horses from R1,000 to R2,000 – initially for the months of March, April and May.
Launched in 2019, the Gold Circle-Hollywoodbets joint venture, known as the Grooms Initiative, has already put R2 million into the pockets of grooms – a critical sector of the racing industry that has long been undervalued.
The July has been held at the Greyville Racecourse in Durban for 125 years and its previous sponsors have been South African mobile phone operator Vodacom and British tobacco company Rothmans.
At this week’s announcement event — where the owner of the 2021 Kommetdieding Champion in July, Ashwin Reynolds and his wife Renee, were special guests — Hollywoodbets commercial manager Sandisiwe Bhengu said: “This is a turning point for Hollywoodbets as we are proud to announce the take the reins of this in their hands. unique event. The success of our company was built on the foundation of horse racing and now we can continue this legacy with the help of a powerful platform. It’s a huge honor for us.
“We want to be more than just a title sponsor. We align ourselves with projects we truly believe in, and the Hollywoodbets Durban July has the potential to bring about incredible opportunity and transformation.
“The scope of this event goes far beyond horse racing, it encompasses tourism, entertainment, fashion and small to medium sized businesses. Its reach and influence, both brand and economic, provides employment for thousands of people.”
It is estimated that July injected some R300 million into the local economy in 2019, the last year the public was allowed to attend the race meeting.
The Hollywoodbets Durban July 2022 run is on July 2.