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Racing NSW And NSW Government In Funding Battle

Wednesday, 21st May 2014

With the inaugural The Championships recently concluded amidst much acclaim and fanfare, a battle is looming to retain the $10 million in NSW Government funding to host the showcase race series, reports theage.com.au. The funding dispute also appears to cover a much broader canvas with potential ramifications for racing in NSW generally. Racing NSW chief executive Peter V'landys and NSW racing officials are yet to meet with Premier Mike Baird to discuss the funding model but there is strong concern regarding "an offer of a $10 million loan to industry to run the event for the next four years". Racing NSW is lobbying for a funding model which is comparable with other states and drew this comment from V'landys, "We have been working with the Premier's department for more than 12 months on the [TAB] funding model and The Championships is only part of it... We are looking at [a] TAB distribution model, which would give us another $90 million that would be used for prizemoney increases around the states." V'landys explained that the racing future of NSW was aligned to bringing the TAB funding model into parity with Victoria. Whereas the State government takes $1.28 from every $100 wagered in Victoria, the NSW government takes $3.22 from every $100 gambled. The funding dispute is also delaying the release of Racing NSW's strategic plan. V'landys added, "The $10 million to run The Championships this year was just a downpayment on the $90 million we would get every year if we had the same funding model as Victoria... We can't plan for the future until this is cleared up, it is holding back racing at every level... We are working under a ridiculous funding model that worked in the 1960-70s but is outdated in 2014 with the new world wagering that includes corporate bookmakers... The NSW government takes out more than any other state now and we were negotiating a level playing field."

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