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Messara To Stand For Revamped Racing NSW Board

Monday, 3rd March 2008

Arrowfield Stud boss John Messara "has called for a national approach to a fractured racing industry & is willing to take a seat on a revamped & streamlined Racing NSW Board," reported The Sydney Morning Herald. Messara declared "reform is needed" in racing, as "the share of the gambling & leisure dollar is in free-fall". He believes racing administrators have "lost focus on objectives", noting that "the most successful sports are led by a national body". Messara's concerns include: "too many race clubs, too many races"; very few participants "receive reasonable return on investments"; racing has "outgrown its revenue streams"; a "return to fundamentals is required"; & the Australian Racing Board "must be given powers to run racing". The newspaper notes the NSW Government "is set to release a draft Bill within weeks about implementing change at Racing NSW" & reveals "the 8-man Board will be reduced to 5 & may be given all-encompassing power to ensure racing is steered in one direction. Messara summed up: "Providing the Bill allows Racing NSW to be truly functional, to have proper leadership powers, I'll certainly put myself up for the Board." Messara added those in charge of racing's destiny are "confused", with "club competing against club & state against state, when the real competitors are "the casinos, poker machines, the AFL, cricket, the football codes". And he emphasised Racing NSW "had to be involved in the Victorian racing industry's upcoming battle to gain control of its wagering licence".

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