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ARB Chairman Comments 3: Revenue Erosion Main Concern
Australian Racing Board chairman Bob Bentley declared, "The ARB is not concerned whatsoever about who punters choose to have a bet with. Our sole concern is the erosion of revenue from wagering operators not paying adequate returns to fund prizemoney, infrastructure, and country racing." While he noted, "Prizemoney is not by any means the only thing that is important to the success of racing," he also said, "it would be denying reality to ignore its profound impact on all aspects of the industry, from returns to owners, incomes for trainers and jockeys and other industry participants, field sizes, and wagering turnover, to name but a few. Prizemoney levels can only be maintained at necessary standards with all wagering operators paying adequate returns, not a 'pay what we like system'." Bentley commented: "Races with nickels and dimes is no substitute for the current system of funding that has built the Australian racing industry to its present world prominence," adding that, "Sponsorship is the model of the UK industry; it is selective and cannot possibly sustain a structured racing program."