Prize money for races in NSW will be cut by 20 per cent until the end of the financial year because of the flow-on effects from the coronavirus crisis.
While racing is continuing in Australia under strict biosecurity protocols, meetings are being held without spectators, reducing the income from wagering, hospitality and sponsorship.
Pubs, clubs and TAB agencies are also closed.
Racing NSW announced on Sunday, the prize money cuts would not cover all losses.
“As the main source of funding for prize money, which is wagering, continues to be severely impacted by the current lockdowns of pubs, clubs and TAB retail agencies, Racing NSW has determined that prize money reductions need to be introduced until 30 June 2020,” Racing NSW said.
“The reduction in funding from wagering is compounded by other sources of funding for NSW race clubs, being on-course attendances, catering revenue and sponsorship, becoming non-existent given the public is not permitted to attend race meetings.
“The reduction in prize money does not cover the revenue losses so some meetings will be run at a loss. Accordingly, Racing NSW will absorb the losses from its future fund and also provide further funding to NSW race clubs from Racing NSW’s cash reserves to sustain those race clubs while the industry faces the uncertainty and challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.”
The reductions will apply after Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes day at Randwick and continue until June 30.
* Races of $100,000 and above will be reduced by 20 per cent
* Races between $25,000 and $100,000 will be reduced by 10 per cent;
* Minimum prize money for Country TAB race meetings will be reduced from $22,000 to $20,000.
There will be no reductions for non-TAB and picnic races.
Programming changes have also been made with the stand-alone Saturday meetings at Hawkesbury and Scone on April 25 and May 16 respectively transferred to Rosehill.
The $500,000 Coast, originally to be held at Gosford on May 9, will be replaced by a benchmark race at the meeting now transferred to Randwick.
Benchmark races in Sydney on Saturdays will drop from $125,000 to $100,000.
The Group One All Aged Stakes on April 18 will be worth $500,000, down from $600,000.