HAVING made the tough decision to cut prize money earlier this week, Harness Racing SA has released the new stake levels.
Citing the closure of TAB agencies, hotels and clubs during this Coronavirus pandemic as catalyst for the move, HRSA revealed turnover has declined as a result.
Income from wagering outlets is racing’s lifeblood, with a blockage causing severe pain throughout the sport.
The adjusted stakes will come into effect on Monday.
“The lockdown of all TAB agencies, hotels and clubs, together with the general uncertainty caused by COVID-19, has resulted in betting turnover nosediving,” chief executive Ross Neal said.
“While, as an industry, racing has continued, we nonetheless have been severely impacted financially, as a consequence of the pandemic.
“Consequently the monies available for stakes distribution have decreased, with the downturn in wagering extending to the corporate bookmakers, who similarly are reporting a fall off in turnovers.
“To protect the harness racing industry in South Australia, Harness Racing SA has been compelled to reduce expenditures to sustain and provide for the industry in the longer term.
“Therefore the prize money budget has been amended with stakes being reduced by 20 per cent.”
Planning to “closely monitor our financial expenditure and make adjustments in other expense areas where applicable” HRSA’s revised stakes schedule is;
$7000 = 4pts reduced to $4999 = 2pts
$4500 = 2pts reduced to $3499 = 1pt
$3000 = 1pt Unchanged 1pt
$2000 = 0pts Unchanged 0pts
Additionally, the following table outlines the revised stakes payable for feature races:
25th April 2020 Golden Nursery Final $24,000
18th April 2020 Gramel $9600
25th April 2020 Sires Produce $8000
25th April 2020 Mermaid Stakes $8000
Keeping in line with the stake reduction, HRSA staff – which includes managers and Directors – have voluntarily agreed to a pay reduction and will adopt a 20 per cent in their salary.
“In adopting these measures, the HRSA Board has applied the principle of balanced sharing of expenditure reductions across all aspects of its operations and business,” Neal explained.
“This including HRSA Directors, management and staff voluntarily agreeing to a pay reduction of 20 per cent in line with the reduction applied to stake monies.
“In making these changes we believe that we can sustain the industry through these very challenging times.”