Prizemoney levels for greyhound race meetings in New South Wales will increase substantially and a new premium Saturday night metropolitan meeting will be introduced following an announcement from the Board of Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) today.
The increase in prizemoney will take effect from January 1, 2009 at TAB and Non-TAB level and from February 1, 2009 at Wentworth Park Saturday night meetings.
The increases will see GRNSW inject $3.5 million per annum into the prizemoney pool which will create a premium metropolitan race night (Saturday night) and take prizemoney to a level which compares favourably with all other states.
GRNSW Chairman Professor Percy Allan AM said the increase in prizemoney is an excellent result.
“The Board’s vision is to be Australia’s premier supplier of greyhound racing product and is focused on long-term sustainable growth that will drive increased prizemoney returns to participants,” Professor Allan said.
“The advent of the Race Fields legislation and the resultant income stream has allowed the Board to achieve the prizemoney increase in a fiscally responsible way that will benefit the whole industry.”
“The tough economic times of recent years have created an extra burden for many of our participants and we believe it is imperative to provide as much support as possible to the industry as soon as we are able.”
GRNSW will invest heavily in the TAB sector to raise graded prizemoney levels to a comparable rate to that which is on offer in Victoria and provide an increase in funding to the country sector to assist with grassroots racing.
GRNSW Chief Executive Brent Hogan said that GRNSW had worked hard to position greyhound racing in NSW to be able to exploit opportunities that would flow from the changing wagering and economic markets.
“It has always been the intention of GRNSW to find the best possible solution for the industry from the changing wagering marketplace and we have done that with our dealings with wagering operators around Australia, enabling us to arrive at today’s decision,” Mr Hogan said.
“This now gives us the opportunity to move forward with real solutions and reward the industry for their efforts.”
To accommodate the prizemoney changes in the metropolitan sector, a minor amendment to the TAB Grading Policy is being considered so that the Saturday and Monday night metropolitan meetings are treated as different categories of meetings.
“Saturday night at Wentworth Park is our showcase timeslot and this change will improve the quality of our premium product, in turn allowing us to drive increased wagering turnover during that time which ultimately supports the growth of prizemoney,” Mr Hogan said.
While today’s news will be welcomed warmly by participants Mr Hogan did warn that 2009 will not be without its ongoing challenges.
“Technology and competition are changing the racing and wagering environment dramatically. When combined with the current global economic downturn, immense pressure is being placed on TAB distributions received by the greyhound industry, our traditional and most significant revenue
“GRNSW will continue to monitor these situations closely and act accordingly in the best interests of the industry.”
Changes to Prizemoney levels at TAB meetings from 1 January 2009
Changes to Prizemoney levels at Saturday night Wentworth Park meetings from 1 February 2009
Prizemoney for Non-TAB meetings will increase by $25 per race, up to $250 per meeting, effective from 1 January 2009.