Racing Victoria’s Wallet Not Shut Yet

By: Ryan Clark
December 13th, 2011

Racing Victoria says there could be more joy coming for stakeholders across the state as they keep the door open on further prize money increases.

Last week they announced a $15 million package to be used across both the city and country and current estimates suggest that could be doubled.

All of this hinges though on the High Court decision between Racing NSW and corporate bookmakers Sportsbet and Betfair.

Should the decision be favourable Rob Hines form Racing Victoria says the effects could be almost instant.

“There is potential for more prizemoney increases. Coming into the system could be as much as $30 million,” Hines said.

If however they lost the case they would also lose an abundance of fees currently collected from the corporates.

He guaranteed though that regardless of the outcome the $15 million already announced was sustainable.

“We can’t afford to take risks. What we did is announce a prizemoney increase that we can absolutely commit to regardless of the High Court decision,” Hines said.

“If the High Court decision is positive for racing, and we really hope it is, there is opportunity for a further stage of prizemoney increases.”

RVL says assuming Racing NSW wins the case they will adopt their process and lift the rates against corporate bookmakers.

This would see 13 percent of gross revenue flowing back to the industry with that number lifted to 18 percent during the spring.

That said they believe the level can and should be lifted even higher.

“We think 20 per cent is the right number for corporate bookmakers, but the problem with a revenue fee is that if we charge that to the interstate totes, it is very expensive for them,” Hines said.

“Once you start increasing, it affects returns to racing industries in their local state.

“We are exploring the possibility of moving to a choice model like they do in Western Australia where the operator chooses whether they pay on turnover or revenue.”

With the High Court decision to be known within two months negotiations are continuing irrespectively between RVL and Country racing Victoria.

Minimum prize money at country meetings will be raised to $14,000 as announced last week but the country organisation are pushing for more.

It’s expected this can be achieved by making administrative process more efficient even without a favourable High Court outcome.

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