These aims have been achieved whilst protecting the health and safety of Staff and Racing Industry Participants whilst engaging in best practices to minimise the spread of COVID-19 within the community.
The financial implications on the Canberra Racing Club as a consequence of COVID-19 are significant. In 2018 / 2019 the Canberra Racing Club recorded a net profit from catering and sponsorship revenue of $904,482, with this figure set to grow and exceed $1 million in 2019 / 2020 until the current COVID-19 restrictions were first announced on 13 March 2020. Participant only race meetings and severe limitations on gatherings has resulted in race day hospitality as well as the Club's Function and Convention Centre ceasing from 13 March 2020.
Race day sponsorship opportunities will also be limited as the businesses cannot attend the race meeting thereby depriving them of an essential element of the process that adds value to their sponsorship.
Additional impacts have been incurred as the main source of funding for prize money, wagering, has also been severely impacted by the current COVID-19 restrictions via the closure of Pubs, Clubs, TAB retail agencies as well as on-course wagering.
As a consequence of this downward trend in wagering, coupled with catering revenue and sponsorship becoming non-existent, the Canberra Racing Club has reviewed the prize money offered at Thoroughbred Park. This review will see minimum prize money remain at $20,000 per race, however the TAB Federal race conducted at each Canberra race meeting will be reduced from $40,000 to $30,000 with immediate effect.
"It is always disappointing to reduce prize money as this is the wages of the Industry. With the vast challenges created by COVID-19 however, at this time, it is important for the Club to do this for our feature race whilst maintaining minimum prize money across the remainder of the meeting" said Canberra Racing Club Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Clark.
The next Canberra race meeting will be held at Thoroughbred Park on Friday 24 April 2020 under strict bio-security arrangements with attendance only to essential personnel to conduct the race meeting.