In the wake of modest prizemoney increases in Victoria of just 5.2%, tonight’s announcement is sure to ring loud up and down the greyhound racing east coast of Australia.
And to show that GRNSW have their sights set firmly in sustainable growth a nd returns rather than just the leading trainers, country greyhound racing will recieve the lions share with prizemoney increases of 25% per meeting.
The significant boost comes on the back of a substantial increase earlier this year meaning that GRNSW has delivered a $5.1 million dollar prizemoney increase since December, a jump of 33%.
GRNSW Chairman Professor Percy Allan AM said the increase is a result of smart business decisions.
“The Board and management of GRNSW have worked extremely hard to improve the product offering of greyhounds in NSW that has in turn increased the wagering appeal of our sport and helped us return this fantastic increase back to our members during these tough economic times,” Professor Allan said.
“GRNSW is focused on long-term sustainable growth which will inevitably lead to NSW supplying Australia’s premium greyhound racing product.
“The advent of the Race Fields legislation and the resultant income stream along with fiscally responsible decisions, particularly during the current Global Financial Crisis, have allowed GRNSW to reward the trainers, breeders and owners who are the lifeblood of our sport,” Professor Allan said.
“The increase in prizemoney will take effect from September 1, 2009 and see prizemoney levels in the TAB sector rise to levels equal to and in most cases better than what is on offer anywhere else in Australia. At the same time we are providing a significant increase in funding to the country sector to assist with grassroots racing and to stop it falling further behind TAB racing.
“For the first time in a long time, NSW greyhound racing is competitive with the rest of Australia which achieves a long standing goal of GRNSW.”
Monday and Saturday Metropolitan meetings will enjoy a 5.8% and 5.5% increase across all grades respectivley, the TAB sector will receive a 6.1% rise with the Country sector gaining a 25% increase per race meeting. The significant increase in country prizemoney has been fully costed and can be funded for a three year period under current financial arrangements.
GRNSW Chief Executive Brent Hogan said that whilst today’s news will be welcomed warmly by the sport and that the increases are sustainable in the foreseeable future, the long term growth and development of the sport remained contingent upon fundamental reform of the NSW racing and wagering industry.
“Tabcorp announced last week that distributions to the NSW racing industry had slowed to a growth rate of 3.4% in the second half of the last financial year and rightly warned that the revenue and margin pressure that was building in the wagering market would inevitably start to impact racing industry funding from its traditional sources,” said Mr Hogan.
“The fact is however that the average TAB distribution growth achieved by the NSW racing industry per annum since 2000 has only been 3.1%, and even if you excluded the last two years to avoid the impacts of Equine Influenza, TAB distributions have only grown by 3.5% per annum since 2000.
“Similarly, wagering sales growth in NSW has trailed that achieved by every other jurisdiction in Australia over the last five years.
“This should highlight that not only is action required to respond to the competitive pressures facing the traditional funding sources of racing, but there are fundamental structural failings in the NSW racing industry that must be addressed. This exact point was captured by Alan Cameron in his report on the future sustainability of the NSW racing and wagering industry.
“The Cameron Report provides a clear and decisive reform agenda for the Rees Government to implement, which will secure the long term future of the racing industry. This will only be done by embracing a culture of promoting and rewarding innovation, growth and performance and allowing the NSW racing and wagering industry to compete on a level playing field with its interstate colleagues.
“Racing Minister Kevin Greene knows full well that fundamental structural change will not occur without Government intervention and he now needs to stand up and show the leadership required of his position to secure the future sustainability of the industry.”