REAPING REWARDS: Clarence River Jockey Club executive officer Michael Beattie
REAPING REWARDS: Clarence River Jockey Club executive officer Michael Beattie

Long term benefits for Clarence racing industries

LOCAL racing bodies have vehemently put their support behind the New South Wales state government's decision to slash betting taxes back to level with Victorian tax rates.

The government has suggested the money will be returned to the sports in question giving both regional and metropolitan racing associations a chance to improve facilities and spending.

But greyhound racing clubs in NSW will not be able to access the additional funds pending the results of an ongoing inquest into the sport and its use of live baiting.

Grafton Greyhound Racing Club secretary Brad Ellis said the increased funds from the reduction in tax was a bit of a pie in the sky idea for the moment.

"It is all a bit up in the air at the moment; we're in limbo," Mr Ellis said. "It has to put more money back into the game but we do not know how it is going to be utilised.

"It stands to reason that if you are being starved of income, how can you be expected to improve things to where they need to be?

"Any additional funding can not be a hindrance, and it is something that needs to happen."

For horse racing pundits the change will come at a much swifter pace and could be ready to see short term dividends, but according to Clarence River Jockey Club executive officer Michael Beattie, the greater affects will be felt in the long term.

"It will eventually be good for the NSW punters," Mr Beattie said. "But they won't see an immediate improvement.

"What will happen though is this change will ensure there is a long term flow of money to the industry that will enable infrastructure and facilities to be better maintained at a high level."

Mr Beattie said the one thing punters could be excited for was an increase in field sizes and therefore in increase in betting variances.

"This increased flow to the industry will flow into prize money increases which will make it more viable for owners to participate in races," he said.

"More owners equal more horses and greater field sizes which in turn give punters a greater range of options on their bets."

Mr Beattie was happy to see the government make special mention of regional racing and believes this change could have a major flow on effect for jobs in the industry.

"I think it will funnel more money into regional centres," he said. "This government has indicated that racing is not just about the metropolitan circuits anymore.

"What we're hoping is that the industry becomes more buoyant. If the industry is strong, we will employ more people.

"Racing is an industry that is hard to industrialise. Whilst ever there is money in racing there will be people employed."



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