Bookmaker Alan Rummery has a tip: within five years, his profession will be all but extinct.
Coronavirus crowd limits have accelerated a shrinking in demand for in-person betting brought on by online betting and Sky Racing - and Tuesday's Melbourne Cup is no exception.
Thoroughbred Park in Canberra will welcome a crowd of just 650 to watch the race, compared to the 5000 who normally attend on Melbourne Cup day.
Rummery said he'd be working a room with a capacity of just 200, after a year with virtually no work.
"It's a token business," he said.
"A few meetings in the district have allowed a few hundred people in, but business is down, 100 per cent to 60 per cent."
He said the slow-down wasn't the fault of the racing clubs or government.
"It's the bigger problem of corporate bookmakers. [Now] you can bet at work, on your phone, and your boss won't even know," he said.
Rummery said punters missed out on the atmosphere of in-person betting and the fun of face-to-face interactions with bookmakers.
He predicted Canberra's handful of remaining bookmakers had another five years before they'd forced out of work.
"If it were business as normal we'd have four to five regular bookmakers through the year," he said.
"Twenty years ago we'd have had 20 to 30. Within the next few years it'll be one or two."
Rummery hoped racegoers didn't lose interest with a year's break from the sport, and pointed to the Snake Gully Cup at Gundagai as an example of the days-of-old atmosphere of the racetrack bookies' room.
"It's the best meeting in the district. The whole town's booked out, the pubs are busy. Hopefully things get back to normal next year," he said.