Prize Money Increase for Queensland!
Written on the 30 June 2017
The Racing Queensland board has approved an increase in prize money of $3.2 million for the 2017/18 budget, across the three codes of racing.
Although 2015/16 recorded a significant loss, RQ CEO Dr Eliot Forbes said commercial decisions made by the new Board had led to better than expected financial results this year, allowing for the budget increase next year.
"The 2015/16 Annual Report documented that RQ recorded a loss of $21.8 million and the new Board and management team were well aware of the challenges to return RQ to a sustainable path," said Dr Forbes
"While there is still some way to go to returning RQ to profitability, the Board understands the importance of enhancing participant returns."
"We remain committed to improving performance in all areas of racing and we are now seeing pleasing early results. Improved wagering turnover and changes to the Race Information Fee (RIF) framework have enhanced revenue and a continued focus on costs will lead to a much-improved financial result for 2016/17."
RQ's goal over the next three years is to boost prize money in a sustainable manner as well as continuing to invest in significant infrastructure projects across the three codes, and working with clubs to improve attendance and commercial returns.
"There are now two major infrastructure projects underway with the recent announcement of the $6 million Country and Regional Capital Works Program and the $13 million redevelopment of facilities at the Ipswich Turf Club. Masterplan options for Albion Park are being explored while an Expression of Interest (EOI) process continues to identify sites for up to two new or replacement venues for both the greyhound and harness codes.
The additional prize money will be allocated to the three codes in the following manner: Thoroughbred racing - $2.28m, Harness racing - $505,000 and Greyhound racing - $415,000.
For thoroughbred racing, the Bernborough Handicap will be increased to $300,000, with an extra $125,000 allocated to the Nudgee Handicap. An additional Saturday restricted race of $30,000 will be added for all metropolitan Saturday meetings and provincial prize money will be increased by $16,000 for all classes (excluding maidens) at Ipswich, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast meetings.
(Photo: RQ CEO Eliot Forbes - Photo credit: Tara Croser)