Perth Racing confirms cuts in prizemoney

Perth Racing has announced a reduction of stake levels to ensure it meets budgetary requirements for the 2010-11 financial year.

Chairman of Perth Racing Ted van Heemst said the latest cuts come as a result of a set of circumstances which is placing the racing industry under considerable stress.

“The growth in corporate bookmakers will continue to erode stake levels,” van Heemst said on Tuesday.  “The recently enacted legislation to cater for the introduction of the racing bets levy tax has also resulted in Perth no longer receiving its traditional income stream from bookmaker’s turnover tax.  

During the past decade income derived from on course bookmakers has reduced from $3.3 million to $500,000.

“Spiralling government charges, compliance, insurance and other costs are also having a severe impact on the business.  There has been a significant reduction in on-course patronage.  It has left us with no alternative but to amend stake levels for the remainder of the racing year.”

van Heemst claimed the reductions are modest but represent a sign of things to come.  They will be effective from February 9.  

“Perth Racing will continue to engage in dialogue with RWWA and the Government to seek viable long term solutions for our industry,” van Heemst stated.  “In addition to a performance based business model, the industry also requires federal legislation to ensure it is adequately compensated for providing our product.”

Perth Racing currently returns in excess of 100% of its off-course TAB distribution to stakeholders.

van Heemst foreshadowed the latest round of prizemoney cuts in March 2008 after Betfair won a High Court judgement against WA laws that banned local residents from placing bets with the exchange.