Prize money in Victoria is set to return to the levels it was at pre-COVID-19.
In April, prize pools were reduced in a bid to protect Racing Victoria and the industry in the state from major economic impacts the virus may have had. However, the governing body for the sport has decided that with the new season, prizemoney levels will return to what they were.
Metropolitan races took a 20% cut, meanwhile, country races were reduced by 10% but Racing Victoria is in a stable enough position to reverse those changes. Although many sports were forced to stop, racing has managed to continue through the pandemic.
Gile Thompson, Racing Victoria’s chief executive, spoke about the return to pre-COVID-19 prizemoney levels.
“Whilst we remain in the grip of the pandemic and its impact will continue to be felt for some time, we recognise that prize money is the lifeblood of our industry and it is fundamental to ongoing investment and jobs in Victorian racing that we maximise it in a responsible manner,” he said.
“There are 110,000 people employed or participating in Victorian racing, many of them in regional communities.
“Restoring minimum prizemoney levels not only benefits everyone in our industry, there is a flow-on of investment into many associated businesses also.”
The second wave in Victoria has forced some changes from Racing Victoria, and it seems unlikely that crowds will be able to attend the Spring Carnival. However, the sport remains on its feet and doesn’t look like it will be forced into a hiatus.