RV could help participants for 12 months

By: Craig Brennan Tuesday 31 March 2020

Racing Victoria says with the aid of the state government it could support industry participants for up to 12 months if racing is forced to shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Chairman Brian Kruger said RV had more than $70 million in its sustainability fund that could be used in combination with aid from the Victorian government to support the industry for between six and 12 months.

Kruger said RV had taken a conservative approach with its investments and was in a good position despite a downturn in markets.

"I think the industry is in a really fortunate position in terms that we have got those funds there that we can use in this sort of event," Kruger told RSN927

"We do get enormous support from the government and I have no reason to expect that won't continue.

"I'm confident that we as an industry can work through this and come out the other side, but it's going to require everybody doing the right thing in the short term and making some tough decisions."

Kruger said RV was still digesting the federal government's Jobkeep program announced on Monday and what that meant for industry participants.

"Our goal in what those relief packages might look like and where the funding might come from, is to be in a position (to advise people) as soon as possible in the event we have to stop racing," Kruger said.

RV announced cuts on Monday, standing down, or reducing the hours of, 40 per cent of its workforce, while the board and executive team have agreed to a reduction in pay of 50 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

Prize money has also been cut with 20 per cent coming off metropolitan races and 10 per cent for races in the country.

Kruger said those measures would result in a saving of $2 million a month and was seen as material help to the sustainability fund.

While racing continues, there is no sport being played which Kruger said was having an impact on the revenue RV gets from its joint venture with TABCorp.

Racing NSW has halved prize money for eight Group One races over the two days of The Championships starting this weekend in order to keep its Future Fund for emergencies.

Queensland's governing body has scrapped the multi million dollar winter carnival and races will be run with normal Saturday prize money.