NSWHRC raises mid-week prizemoney

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The NSW Harness Racing Club will increase mid-week prizemoney a massive 14 per cent to $8000 a race from October 1.

The principal club will increase midweek prizemoney from the current $7,000, which equates to more than $400,000 in additional prizemoney over the course of a year.

At a consistent $8,000 prizemoney per race for meetings run each and every week the new level is the highest nationally for non metropolitan meetings.

NSWHRC chief executive Bruce Christison explained that the club had made the decision to advance the proposed prizemoney increases which were expected to eventually flow from the wagering tax harmonisation announced by the State Government.

“While we have been told the tax reductions will be phased in over a five-year period, until the legislation is introduced to Parliament and HRNSW are in a position to make announcements, we cannot be certain of the timing,” Christison said.

“The club has discussed this with HRNSW it could be up to three years until sufficient funding levels required to pay for the proposed increases across all races flow through.

“So the club decided it would fund this in the short term.

“If we are to sustain the payments over the longer period we will obviously be relying upon the benefits from tax relief.”

Christison pointed out that his club was committed to growing prizemoney, at all levels.

“However, after consulting with industry participants, we have identified that midweek prizemoney levels are the No. 1 priority – in the short term,” he said.

“Our aim is to eventually lift these races to $10,000.

Christison pointed out that since the proceeds of the Harold Park sale began to flow four years ago the NSWHRC had contributed more than $20m of its own funds into prizemoney.

“This is over and above the prizemoney obligations the club has from TAB and Racefields Legislation funding,” he said.

“The club has maintained these levels despite the fact that investment earnings over this period have been well below the forecasts made when the Harold Park sale was negotiated.

“The club also acknowledges that the industry requires more than just prizemoney injections.

“Stay tuned for more news in this regard over the coming weeks.”

Courtesy of Sean Vella, NSWHRC