Prize money injection for New Zealand racing
The New Zealand Racing Board’s latest funding announcement is a no strings attached boost to stake money.
An additional $24 million will be provided to the three codes – thoroughbreds, harness and greyhounds - over the next two years with the thoroughbred industry’s share at $6.5 million.
“This is all for stake money and nothing else,” NZRB chief executive John Allen said.
“The money will come from the NZRB balance sheet, which has strengthened over the last few years having sold buildings etc in order to invest in projects and there will be a small amount of borrowing to support the progression of investment.”
The thoroughbred code has already raised minimum stakes to $10,000 in anticipation of extra funds.
“We have a great racing product in New Zealand with amazing skills of horsemen and women and we want them to invest here and stay and further their careers and we certainly hope this latest announcement boosts confidence levels,” Allen said.
“Our return to the codes will go from $136.2 million last year to $148.2 million this year and I would like to think that in the next three to five years that figure could go as high as $200 million.
“The next two years are guaranteed at $12 million extra per year though and not only is that number sustainable, it is just a starting point.”
Meanwhile, Allen said that an announcement on the NZRB’s investment in an automated fixed odds betting platform will be made in the near future after ongoing discussions with Paddy Power Betfair/Open Bet for a number of months.
“A final decision on our partner has yet to be made, but will be within a month. We would expect an investment of $25 million to be made over a period of years.
“With the fixed odds platform improvements, we have seen overseas agencies increase their turnovers through them and they will also give us the chance to win back large New Zealand-based customers we may have lost.”
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