The Sunday Afternoon "Finish On"

Big news last week out of Queensland was the decision by Government to raise the Point of Consumption Tax on wagering by 33 per cent.

Peter Davis

19 June 2022

BIG news last week out of Queensland was the decision by Government to raise the Point of Consumption Tax on wagering by 33 per cent.

Queensland’s PoCT previously stood with WA and SA (at 15 per cent) while other jurisdictions are common at 10 per cent.

The drums are beating a budget announcement will come this week from the Perrottet administration lifting NSW’s gross return to Treasury.

Let’s not forget the NSW Government has never, ever given greyhound racing a fair share of net income – starting with the inter-code ‘rort’ signed in the late 90’s, tax parity (paid at 10 per cent when it should be 22) while PoCT (introduced in 2019 by Racing Minister Troy Grant) gifted only 10 per cent of greyhound racing’s taxes back to industry as it’s unfairly tied to the inter-code agreement.

In coming weeks, this likely substantial hike – which has come without consultation – will again fill Treasury’s pockets but how much will greyhound racing receive?

Back in 2014, Racing NSW said “there is a current imbalance in favour of wagering operators at the expense of punters” and that was without a Point of Consumption Tax whatsoever.

Any increase to any tax (on anything) is passed on to the consumer and in this case, punters are on the receiving end.

A lift in taxation will ensure poorer margins to punters (from bookmakers) and effectively disincentivize wagering ergo lower turnover, ergo lower income.

For now, PoCT in NSW funds the Greyhound Racing and Integrity Commission on the low metrics in place … just where is the extra ‘cabbage’ going to end up?

Racing NSW has just announced further substantial prizemoney increases and it’s not rocket science to suggest that their increased share of PoCT was factored in.

Greyhound racing has never received an equitable return from the NSW Government and its folly to suggest any increase to Treasury will change tack.

Punters will be the victims in his cash grab but the sweetener was the substantive increase in Queensland promised 80 per cent back to industry.

Wagering operators would likely be posting cricket score odds that NSW greyhound racing participants will get a fair go – history, I expect, will repeat itself.

EXPAND

The launch of e-Tracking in NSW has the capacity to give defense point for greyhound racing when lies and misrepresentations abound and it’s something which Greyhounds Australasia should have instituted long ago.

In Tasmania, lies are being peddled by the Greens, Federal MP Andrew Wilkie and other miscreants in an attempt to have greyhound racing closed in the Apple Isle.

The mantra promoted is designed to make the general public think greyhounds are mistreated and the common term used is ‘Rescued Greyhounds”.

It’s an outrage and a grave misrepresentation of how greyhounds are cared for yet, fortunately the Greens and their cohorts in Tassie, are not nearly as ‘vital’ as they think they are.

The efforts are based on fear rather than fact and at no stage do they attempt to verify the rules and regulations controlling the keeping of greyhounds.

They have no concept of how well greyhounds are treated and the e-Tracking is a finite way to call out lies purported around retired greyhounds.

Funded by the NSW Government to the tune of $3.6m, e-Tracking needs to be taken up in all states in order to complete a national picture.

The old adage you’re “only as strong as your weakest link” is apt.

NOT HAPPY, JAN

A brouhaha arose at Goulburn on Friday following the qualification of runners for the $10,000 to the winner Ladbrokes Mulwaree Sprint (350m) scheduled for June 24.

Five heats were drawn with winners and three fastest seconds securing a place in the finale but a spanner was thrown the works with Yukon Bear and French Wish dead heating for second in the opening heat.

Sound familiar?

Only a head separated three dogs in a drive to the line, with Rodeo Ethics prevailing in 19.97 while the dead heaters registered 19.98 and, thus the equal fastest second place time for the heats.

Sue Barton’s Yukon Bear was then placed in a ballot with French Wish to split the pair (as per the Greyhounds Australasia new rule set [R120] invoked last month) and French Wish won out.

The decision – and GA rule – seems at odds with logic. Two dogs run second, post the fastest time in order to qualify and one misses out!

Only last year, Koblenz was at the centre of controversy when he dead heated with Jepara in a Melbourne Cup heat in 29.43.

The T’s & C’s of the Cup asserted that the eight heat winners secure a start in the big final but, with the dead heat, slowest heat winner Aussie Secret missed start in the $725,000 final.

GA R120 (1) states: If two or more greyhounds dead heat for first place or another placing in an Event comprising a leg of a Series, the right of a greyhound concerned to further participate in the Event shall, where necessary, be decided by a ballot.

The GA rule is quite precise but can be gazumped by a local rule and there is no real correct answer. Both Yukon Bear and French Wish went quicker time than the second placed dogs in the later heats and it seems fair that both should have been in the June 24 final … but that’s not what the national rule asserts.

POOR RETURN

At Bulli on Tuesday, He’s Grand snared the Jimmy Jenkins Memorial Final in determined fashion, cutting down Jackpot Ethics late in 26.38.

A tidy $15,000 went to breeder-trainer Rod O’Brien with the reward all-but doubling the rising two year-old’s career earnings yet for Jackpot Ethics’ gritty effort, his connections were short changed.

Second secured just $1000 while third (How Good – a litter brother and kennelmate to He’s Grand) snared $600.

In a time of escalating costs, surely this imbalance must be attended to.

GRNSW boasts some of the richest races in the land but people are being left behind and the decision to not reward all is at the whim of individual clubs.

Affordability is front and centre at the moment and such is the extreme cost of training greyhounds, if you’re not winning, it’s becoming unaffordable.

In this instance, the GBOTA needs to do a lot better.

Racing Queensland has a model which is static for all races regarding prizemoney splits … it’s 65 per cent, 20 per cent for second, 10 for third and five for fourth.

It’s a model which needs to be replicated nationally. In Victoria, prior to adding fourth prizemoney, the split was 70/20/10 of the total pool.

The percentage was disrupted when five percent was gifted to fourth yet the returns are the same for all races at all venues.

It’s great to have these features but Bulli’s return should really have been something like $12,500, second snaring $2500 and third $1250 making the contest $16,250 as compared to $16,600 paid and split the $350 between the unplaced finalists.

In WA, city class races are 66.5 percent to the winner, 20 per cent for second (but 19 per cent for a feature race), 10 percent for third and 3.5 percent for fourth but nothing thereafter.

For feature races, 0.5 percent is deducted from second, third and fourth which is handed to the unplaced finalists. Tassie and SA have a common theme when it comes to prizemoney but these curious anomalies arise in NSW.

NSW has attracted headlines for big pay day races but every contest needs a full field and the incentive to keep on keeping on when a winner’s cheque is missed must be understood.

And this problem in NSW is not new. Back in 1988, I vividly recall Gary Young’s Bigbad Pearl being beaten a nose in an INCA Maiden Final at Richmond.

Gaz thought the blue bitch had snared the $3000 purse yet the narrowest of defeats was even less palatable when he realised second secured a modest $300!

Let’s hope GRNSW can get clubs to respect participants by insisting on a fair prizemoney split. Only then will no one be left behind.

IN THE PINK

The rich Pink Diamond series at Ballarat provided spectacular racing and Greyhound Racing Victoria’s support of local breeders is certainly showcased.

Quality performers ran sizzling times all night, with Zara’s Ivan running a slick 24.94 while Silver Brute’s 21.70 over 390m to be only .10 outside Bareki’s track record which was posed on a summer track in 2020.

Interestingly, the first split record at Ballarat over 390m is credited to Hot Price (7.83) and to the eye, he did not put a paw out of place to run 8.16 early. Yep, 0.33 or nearly five lengths outside an illogical mark.

And it was that section which promoted a look at the Ballarat web page. Trolling around uncovered what is below:

Updates for trainers on track announcements at Ballarat have not been updated since 2018 and the last light harrow was on June 5, 2016.

It’s not my go to place for updates but it’s not tough to get track information right and Ballarat certainly have not had their eye on the ball for some time.