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$1 MILLION DISCRETIONARY PAYMENT TO INDUSTRY Written by:
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23/02/21

GRSA ANNOUNCES $1 MILLION DISCRETIONARY PAYMENT TO INDUSTRY

In response to a string of issues which impacted the greyhound racing industry in South Australia from late 2019 into the first half of 2020, the difficult decision was made to reduce returns to trainers, breeders and owners by 15% from late last April.  Those changes have remained in place since that time, albeit that a new profit-sharing model introduced from June 1, the Wagering Activity Payment (WAP) framework, has triggered additional payments to industry of $1.28 million in the first half of FY21.

Having been increasingly impacted by issues with pool liquidity in national totes from late 2019, the racing schedule and greyhound nominations continued to be impacted in the early months of 2020 by extreme heat, border closures and one of the more serious outbreaks of canine gastroenteritis that the industry has seen.  When budgets for the current financial year were set, the threat of interruption from Covid restrictions and the absolute uncertainty in relation to the prospect of a national economic recovery warranted a conservative approach to baseline stakemoney.  The introduction of the WAP, which shares the benefits from wagering growth with participants as and when it occurs, was introduced partly in the hope that it would offer the potential for upside during recent months and has exceeded any expectations in that regard.

The strength of wagering performance in the first half of the financial year has paved the way for a discretionary payment to industry.  On Friday February 26, $1 million will be distributed to industry participants which reflects that positive wagering outcome.  Whilst that payment will sit entirely outside the existing minimum commitment of 50% of returns from net wagering revenue under the WAP framework, it will be distributed in direct proportion with WAP distributions across the six months spanning July to December 2020.  For clarity, these payments are, in every respect, a form of stakemoney and are intended to be shared between trainers and owners in the same way that stakemoney and WAP returns are treated.  In some circumstances, the payment will not appear in bank accounts until March 1.

Additionally, with a view to ensuring that the industry maintains its current strong momentum during the period of the closure of Angle Park, all trainers will receive support for additional travel and inconvenience in the form of an ‘away’ trainer fee.  Under this initiative, all trainers will be identified as having a ‘home’ regional track, that being defined as the regional track which is nearest to their registered premises.  When a trainer competes at any away regional venue – such as a Gawler trainer competing at Murray Bridge, or a Mt Gambier trainer competing at Gawler – their trainer fee payment for that meeting will triple from $50 to $150.  The new fee structure will be triggered from April 1 or the commencement of works at Angle Park, whichever is the earliest date, and will remain in place until racing resumes at Angle Park.

In both instances – the discretionary payment and the ‘away’ trainer fee – the amounts paid will sit outside the WAP framework and will, accordingly, be additional to the minimum 50% distribution of net wagering revenue to which GRSA has committed from this year.

As a not-for-profit organisation, GRSA has an obligation to maximise returns to industry from wagering activity on local greyhound racing product but, more than that, our Board is driven to ensuring that its trainers, breeders and owners can enjoy an increasingly viable involvement with the sport.

For more information contact Greyhound Racing SA via marketing@grsa.com.au.

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