Queensland’s thoroughbred racing industry is threatening to call a state-wide strike, demanding a share of the state’s new POC tax to increase their prize pools, local media reports.
The state’s new POC tax, which came into effect last week, means that betting houses are required to pay 15 percent tax on all bets placed in Queensland, no matter where they are headquartered.
Australian Trainers Association state executive Cameron Partington said the industry wants an immediate cash injection into its prize pools – matching what is on offer in other states.
At the moment, the thoroughbred racing industry in Queensland does not give any prize to 5th place, making racing in other states more favorable for trainers.
Partington said that if the industry were to start awarding prizes past the 5th place, prize money would need to be taken out of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place.
The solution, said Partington, is to increase the amount of money in the prize pool overall so that enough can be spread around.
“ How do you fix that problem? You’ve got to put more money in at the start and spread it over more people so that more trainers can get some income out of running their horses,” he said.
Partington said that the lack of prize pool funding has been due to lack of investment and administrative changes in the industry.
“They’re saying there’s money there but it’s tied up and there’s mismanagement,” he said.
However, QLD premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that the industry gets enough money from Queensland taxpayers as it is.
“We give millions of dollars every year to the racing industry,” said Palaszczuk.
“There is a substantial amount of the … (gambling) tax going back to the racing industry. We’ve also forgiven half of their debt as well, I mean, we are taking a lot of measures here,” she added.