INFECTED: Greyhound racing at Casino and Lismore will be affected due to the equine influenza. LISA VANDERSTOK
INFECTED: Greyhound racing at Casino and Lismore will be affected due to the equine influenza. LISA VANDERSTOK

Equine influenza infects the dogs



GREYHOUND Racing NSW (GRNSW) recently announced a $1.2 million prizemoney reduction starting today as the direct financial losses to the NSW greyhound racing industry due to the equine influenza (EI) crisis continue to grow.

GRNSW chief executive Brent Hogan said the NSW greyhound racing industry had already withstood losses of more than $700,000 since EI hit.

"These losses are incurred by the greyhound industry as a result of the revenue share arrangements in which greyhound racing receives just a 13 per cent share of revenue earned by the racing industry despite it currently providing the bulk of NSW racing product," Hogan said.

"Greyhounds are the only racing code with the need to cut prizemoney as neither of the others have race meetings to fund.

"This will affect every greyhound racing club in the State."

There will be a 25 per cent cut to prizemoney across the board and this will be effective from today through to January 31.

According to Hogan, the time and amount of the cuts could be amended at any stage depending on changes in the EI situation.

The most recent financial analysis suggests that the impact on TAB distribution revenue received by the greyhound industry will result in losses between $1.5 million and $2 million.

It is possible that the impact will extend above $2 million, particularly given the latest developments at Warwick Farm and in Brisbane.

GRNSW has dealt with the impact to date by relying on its cash reserves, with the board resolving to absorb the first $1 million worth of losses. Further losses could not be absorbed.

Hogan said GRNSW was disappointed with the NSW Government after writing to Premier Morris Iemma and treasurer Michael Costa on September 6 informing them of the situation.

GRNSW said it had not received recognition of the correspondence.

Mr Hogan has also written to and met with NSW Minister for Gaming and Racing Graham West who has yet to agree to any financial assistance.

During the meeting with Minister West, it was explained that if no financial assistance was provided by September 25, the GRNSW board would have no option but to cut funding to the industry.



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