Greyhound Racing South Australia (GRSA) have been hit hard by the COVID19 crisis, which has seen a dramatic fall in industry revenue from UBet turnover. GRSA have been forced to drop all prizemoney by 15% as a result of the shortfall.
GRSA has today released a statement noting that “UBET clients appear to have been unprepared for a shift to digital wagering platforms when the COVID-19 restrictions were introduced”, and that “betting activity in pubs, clubs and casinos has typically accounted for 70% of GRSA’s Product Fee payment”.
The resulting loss of turnover form those sources has GRSA fearing a dramatic shortfall on industry revenue. Consequently the Board of GRSA has resolved that all members of the GRSA Management team will accept a 20% reduction in remunerable hours down to 0.8FTE and participant stakemoney returns will be reduced overall by 15%.
South Australian Industry Return Changes
- All standard ‘graded’ meeting payments to winners and placegetters will reduce by 15%
- The current allocation to travel fees for trainers and starter fee payments will remain unaffected
- SA Bred payments will remain unaffected with the exception of the Maiden winner bonus reducing from $1,000 to $500 and the Group race super-bonus scheme being discontinued after FY22
- Feature race top-ups for series and events which are resolved in FY21 (i.e. date of final) will reduce by the equivalent of $200,000 annually (a further announcement will follow)
GRSA have noted that these changes are intended as temporary measures and will be wound back (in concert) at a time when the Board views that as being an appropriate and responsible measure to take, but no date or timeframe has been identified.
The changes follow a separate wave of staff stand downs due to the forced closure of GRSA’s gaming and hospitality offers and other reductions relating to broader operational contraction, also within the context of COVID-19 restrictions.
GRSA aims to gradually return to a full schedule of eight weekly race meetings as state border restrictions are lifted and racing numbers improve.
The Mount Gambier region has been particularly affected by the loss of participation from Victoria in recent weeks and GRSA is working closely with the Club to retain a viable weekly racing opportunity at that venue.
Weekly racing at Gawler will return to the Sky schedule in May, which should be welcome news for northern participants already dealing with the loss of trialling opportunities due to the Government’s temporary closure of the Virginia straight track. Noting the current unavailability of that facility, the coursing season has been deferred indefinitely. More broadly, with minor exceptions, existing participant licences will be rolled over for a 12-month period with no fees to be charged in the interim.
GRSA have said they “remain committed to making the difficult decisions that are necessary to protect the future of the sport” in South Australia.