Racing Queensland announces $18 million prize money increase

Queensland Racing is set for an injection of much-needed funds from the state government.

RACING Queensland (RQ) Chairman Steve Wilson has announced that the State Government’s $26 million boost for thoroughbred racing in the state will secure the “long-term sustainability” of Queensland racing.

Following the Queensland Government’s announcement for thoroughbred racing, RQ Chairman Steve Wilson says the first prize money increase of $18 million, effective 1 November 2018, will be a welcome boost for racing across Queensland.

The focus on non-metropolitan racing in the state is something Mr Wilson said will assist in industry viability, competitiveness and participant cash flow.

“This prize money boost will address one of the biggest challenges facing racing in Queensland; its ongoing viability, long-term sustainability and competitiveness with other racing jurisdictions across Australia.”

“I would again like to thank Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe and Treasurer Jackie Trad for their willingness to engage with Racing Queensland and industry participants on this important issue for the future of Queensland racing, which contributes $1.2 billion annually to the state economy.”

The move comes as strike action across the state threatened to derail the industry entirely.

The dispute was initiated over the allocation of the state’s point of consumption tax, which slugs online bookmakers a certain percentage of their revenue based on where the bets are being placed.

READ MORE: Who are Australia’s best online bookmakers?

Mr Wilson said RQ and industry representatives from the harness and greyhound codes were in continued discussions about enduring funding for the viability and competitiveness of their codes.

CEO Brendan Parnell said RQ had worked to allocate the funding in a manner that would promote the viability of grassroots racing by paying 5th to 10th at all TAB races throughout the state.
A sliding structure of $1000 – $300 is dependent on meeting status.

“Non-metropolitan (Provincial) racing will be the major beneficiary, with $12.3 million allocated to provincial and country racing,” Mr Parnell said.

Provincial SEQ meetings at the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich will benefit from an increase of $6.9 million, while Provincial meetings in Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns will benefit from the remaining $5.4 million.

“The focus on un-placed stakes from 5th to 10th aims to defray costs for participants, while improving cash flows for trainers and, for the owners who subsidise the industry.”

The majority of the remaining $5.7 million will be allocated to paying runners placed 6th to 10th at mid-week and Saturday metropolitan races. All listed races will also be raised to a minimum of $125,000.

“By allocating funds in this manner RQ aims to drive improved field sizes, especially at Provincial TAB meetings which have been under pressure for the past two years,” Mr Parnell said.

Highlights include:

Provincial SEQ meetings (Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich) – $6.9 million increase

  • Standard race stakes raised from $16,000 to $21,000 (+31.25%)
  • Maiden race stakes raised from $15k to $21k (+40%)
  • Introduction of prize money for fifth-placed runners
  • Introduction of $400 payment for runners placed 6th to 10th.

Provincial Queensland meetings (inc. Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns) – $5.4 million increase

  • All races at Toowoomba Turf Club raised from $14,000 to $19,000 (+35.7%)
  • Introduction of $19,000 races at weekly Northern Provincial Showcase meetings
  • Remaining provincial stakes raised from $14,000 to $16,500 (+17.8%)
  • Introduction of prize money for fifth-placed runners
  • Introduction of $400 payment for runners placed 6th to 10th

Country TAB stakes raised from $12,000 to $14,500 (+20.83%) at:

  • Kilcoy, Beaudesert, Warwick, Lockyer (Gatton), Dalby and Roma meetings
  • Key Northern Cups and the Toowoomba Cup raised to $150,000 prize money.

Mid-week Metropolitan meetings – $2.4 million increase

  • Standard race stakes raised from $25,000 to $30,000 (+20%)
  • Maidens raised from $20,000 to $25,000 (+25%)
  • Introduction of $500 payment for runners placed 6th to 10th.

Saturday metropolitan meetings – $2.15 million increase

  • Standard race stakes raised from $70,000 to $75,000 (+7.1%)
  • All races increased by $5,000 to accommodate introduction of $1000 payment for runners placed 6th to 10th.
  • Listed races to carry minimum stakes of $125,000 (+25%)