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Irish Prize-Money Cut 5% For 2011
Horse Racing Ireland announced prize-money will be cut 5% in 2011, from €46 million (A$62m) to €44.1 million (A$59m). HRI chief executive Brian Kavanagh commented: "While further cutbacks are extremely regrettable, they are unavoidable, given the 4th cut in the space of 2 years to HRI's funding, which has now fallen by €15 million (A$20m) or 25% since 2008. A secure, long-term funding structure is central to a return to growth within our industry. The foal population has dropped by 40% over the past 2 years & horses-in-training are currently down 15% compared to last year. HRI will continue to work to ensure that all types of off-shore betting, including betting exchanges, are captured within the taxation net on an equitable basis. . . . . The current rate of betting duty in Ireland is the lowest in the world & a modest increase will safeguard jobs in rural Ireland, ensure continued inward investment from overseas owners & enable the resumption of vital racecourse capital development programmes as soon as possible, thereby creating significant employment around the country."