The answer to the great problem with Queensland Racing is stunning in its simplicity.
We spend more than we earn, and we need to stop, and rein our spending in.
That’s the basic equation, and it should have been addressed years ago but it wasn’t and here we find ourselves involved in a racing industry that’s running significant unsustainable deficits and no-one appears to have the courage to stand up and say it has to stop right now.
Note I said ‘appears’. This is the racing industry, and we’re talking about racetracks. Nothing here in the hurly burly of the best sport ever invented is ever as it appears, and every single sheila and bloke in racing knows and loves it, because the illusion is part the allure of the whole great damn grand game.
What’s a plunge if its not the smarties pulling the wool over every other buggers eyes? What’s the sneaky pre-dawn 800m gallop clocking 23’s to the furlong under triple-grip 80 kilo trackwork rider wraps? Why do we all love a ring in so much ever though some bugger’s trying to skin us?
It’s the illusion that sucks us in. The challenge. The quest to one day be able to say “Hey Feathers? See that smartie there? It’s me.
Its our love of the sport that makes us all equal on the turf, all Kings; a magical playground where it doesn’t matter whether you’re the Sheikh of Ah-Sorz-or a Queanbean cabbie a Group One, ten millions bucks and all expenses paid world travel are always only a quarter of an ounce of luck around the corner, because where there’s hope there’s life and where there’s life there’s hope and every punter has it tattooed somewhere inside their soul.
We know not to trust any bugger on the track any further than we can throw them, though, no matter if they are friend or flame, family or foe. That’s tattooed on the common sense department wall in every punter’s cranium and has been always and forever and ever and at least one extra day.
So why did we all trust the Directors and Executives of Racing Queensland and the Brisbane Racing Club to look after racing, and not rip us all off blind then?
It’s a good question isn’t it?
Because we believed they cared about racing?
Who, 4 clowns holding all the power on the board at RQ who have had nothing to do with racing for at least the last 2 years, and in most cases certainly never, ever or at all?
Because they have legal responsibilities and fiduciary duties to do the right thing?
Are you serious? This is Queensland.
Because whats good for racing is what’s good for them, because it will earn them praise and performance bonuses and near guaranteed tenure in their jobs for life?
Oh yeah? A quick 5 or 10 million or 2 decades in the CEO chair? Money or the Box?
The box thanks.
Because it would be criminal to rob the members of their company and club, and well-educated and bred racing men obey the law?
Dr Nick Paltos. Murray Farquahar SM. Justice Lionel Murphy. John Wren. Robin (Robert) Askin. Big Russ. Top Level Ted Lyons. Peter Geoffrey Huxley. I could go on for hours.
Because we’re all bloody busy and lazy and want to have a beer and a bet and let someone elso do the unpaid work, and the question of whether they could be trusted in charge of my interests never really crossed my mind?
Yep, that one.
We’re all bloody idiots.
We shouldn’t have trusted them sportsfans. We’ve been had and we’ve been done.
Come in spinner, the spinner’s us.
Let me now tell you how and show you why.
They were telling each other they were the smarties.
They’re wrong, but gee they were nearly right.
Little Dickie Morrison, you stupid, greedy, fat, f*cking ill-judged, brain-dead, tea-leaving conman, wanna be tough guy, clown and all round c*nt.
You’ve done this son. It’s you who’s brought the whole custard pie cart crashing down, and I want all your corrupt cronies and your boy friends and your giggling gentleman mates and every other bastard on the course and across the Lucky Country to know.
If you hadn’t tried the threats on son I would never have looked so hard to prove what by smell I knew a furlong away.
And if I hadn’t looked so hard, I wouldn’t have found.
And if I hadn’t have found, you wouldn’t have been sprung.
And if you weren’t sprung porky, well f*ck me dead you’d all be rich and the rest of us’d be Monkey’s uncles.
And if we were Monkeys uncle’s, you wouldn’t be going to jail.
Never wrestle with a pig sunshine. You both get dirty, but the pig likes it.
And never, ever, ever threaten a f*cking bloke from Geebung Dickie, cos Downfall Creek’s the River Jordan, and Geebung Primary’s the Garden of Eden, and our Mums and Dads are Mary and Joseph, and thus being antipodean Israeli’s we live and breathe and die by the doctrine that each and every time any Philistine tries to harm us we apply absolute f*cking disproportionate force, and every friend of our enemy instantly becomes out enemy too.
Especially the type of mangy tic-infested dogs who are stealing cash and dough from decent race-loving punters who never for a moment imagined any other person could stoop so, sogoddamn low.
Sometimes we even save the sport we love along the way.
Here’s looking at you Little Dickie.
In the eight years prior to the formation of Racing Queensland – during which time the gallops stood alone and were managed variously by the Queensland Thoroughbred Racing Board (QTRB or Queensland Racing) and Queensland Racing Limited (QRL) – thoroughbred racing returned profits of $57.22 million, and each and every year between 2003 and 2010 the code reported an annual profit.
I will repeat that statistic just so it sinks in.
Before the the three codes were placed under a single control body named Racing Queensland, back when thoroughbred racing sailed its own ship and was the mistress of its own destiny, the industry recorded 8 successive profits year on end.
The average profit was $7.15 million per year.
The, in the year 2011, Racing Queensland was legislated into existence and all changed, changed utterly, and a terrible ugliness was born.
Put simply, the wheels fell off, and in the six years that has followed the thoroughbred code has made just one solitary profit – $23.46 million in 2015 – and that result was totally and utterly hooked and more crooked than a bouncing Skippy’s hind legs, because to pad the books and the hoodwink the unsuspecting punters prior to Macsporran’s ‘reforms’ being implemented by merging the three codes into one under a non-racing oriented control authority, the good folk from the then All Codes Board revalued racing’s assets by inflating them to the tune of about $36 million.
This meant that under the highly dodgy accounting principles adopted by Racing Queensland they could add in the newly pumped up asset value and off set it against that year’s loss, which meant a red figure of $12 million suddenly turned into a black figure of almost $24 million.
Remarkable isn’t it? Even in the one year Racing Queensland said they won, the outfit actually did its arse. Fine Cotton anyone? Ring in!
Why isn’t Racin’ Nathan telling us this? Why indeed? Ask him next time you see him, maybe he can explain the abrogation of his ethical duty as a journalist to tell it like it is and ask the obvious questions even if they’re a bit hard. I certainly can’t explain it, not without denigrating his character and his presumed professionalism anyway.
I’m going to add that $12 million real loss (before the fake inflated assets were used to pull a fiddle) to the losses in the other 5 years of the single control body in its various form being in charge of racing since 2011 and do you know what I come up with?
A $50 million dollar aggregate loss.
How he hell does a thoroughbred industry make $57 million dollars over eight successive years of profit, and then blow almost the whole lot in just six?
Easy as pie.
The Government forms an unwieldy, unworkable and totally unsustainable single control board and stacks it with on the make spivs who hold a consensus view that racing’s just an excuse for a piss up, a fang job and a perv; that horses are nothing but poker machines (they call them EGM’s, short for Electronic Gaming Machines) poor bumpkin cousins; and that every racecourse in South-East Queensland should be converted into a pokie barn.
Then they split the regulatory and operational functions of their new board, and create another one again and suddenly where the racing for a decade had a single layer of bureaucracy to deal with now all of a sudden it has three.
Those three layer of course – the clubs own administration, RQ’s administration, and now QRIC’s too – costs money. In fact they cost heaps, a whole f*cking shitload to put it crudely and very bluntly, and let me show you the money.
In 2010, the last year of the Queensland Racing Limited model, the thoroughbred industry’s total annual expenditure was around $143 million.
When the trots and dogs came aboard the next year expenditure jumped to $164 million.
By 2014 the three code spending had ballooned out by another $42 million and the total costs to run the industry had now risen to $206 million.
Racing Queensland Annual Report 2014
And then last year along came the Racing Integrity Commission and BOOM! The industry’s expenditure jumped through the roof, out out of the course and all the way up to the skies.
$45 million dollars was added to ‘amount owing’ on the bill from only 24 months before.
Yes that’s right folks, the racing industry is now shouldering a revenue apportioned 85 percent piece of forty five million extra f*cking bucks, and the total three code yearly racing expenditure now stand at a whopping $251 million and change dollars.
Racing Queensland Annual Report 2016
Read those numbers again.
It now costs racing about 85% of $108 million dollars more to run the industry than it did in the last year that the gallops were allowed to stand on their own two feet, and the same proportion of a whopping $87 million spondoolies more to run a Sport of Kings, a Sport of Slaughtering Little Live Things, and a Nero Era Replica of Rome With a Bloke Named Clip Clop Playing With His Flute While Sitting on the Throne and Watching the Flames Burn his whole goddamn empire to the ground.
You’d expect the mainstream racing media to be going ballistic wouldn’t you? After all we rely on these blokes as our source of information about the industry, and to a man they profess to love and adore the racing game.
But as the old racing maxim goes he who gives the riding instructions determines the pace of the race, and so Racin’ Nathan Exelby that sportswriter beyond compare blamed something else completely: the Race Information Fees.
R.N Exelby, Form Genius and the new Mark Twain: The Courier-Mail, 18 August 2016 http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/superracing/qld-racing/rq-bets-on-wagering-growth-to-combat-fall-in-ubet-revenue/news-story/84896a1ac12ca12f4720ea7ebce8b3c5
Oh yeah punters,Racin’ Nathan told us, the mammoth loss about to suffered to the industry control board was all because of the $9 million dollars in additional Race Information fees that we had to shell to those bastards from down South of the Tweed.
Unfortunately there were a number of rather important facts that Mr Ex forgot to tell us, vital information it was really too, because it included (and Racin’ Nathan omitted) such red hot and extremely relevant facts such as these:
(a) Nine million dollars isn’t even half of the twenty million loss he was wrongly projecting, and it ain’t half of the $18.35 million loss that ended up landing in the annual report either. So how the f*ck could it possibly be the key factor in the loss when there was another 10 or so million still missing?
(b)The product agreement that was the ‘key figure’ had actually been agreed with Tatts by Racing Queensland in the 30-year exclusive contract known in the industry as the Wagering Agreement that had been signed off by RQ less that 26 months before.
The agreed levels of marketing activities at number 8 are what pays Racin’ Nathan’/s six figure salary, and self-service terminals instead of Tote and TAB ladies is the price
(c) Mr Racin’ Nathan Ex himself had written a number of articles over the past couple of years lauding the Wagering Agreement as the best thing for racing since cobalt, drenches, Bet Fairy and sliced cheese.
(d) The only reason the product fees were so high was because Eagle Farm had been closed for the greater part of the financial year covered by the annual report, and as a result Tatts had expanded its interstate coverage markedly and like other totes and corporate bookies who bet on Brisbane races if they ever running Tatts had to pay for the use of the race field information the company used to generate additional turnover
(e) Tatts had also rapidly expanded its gambling markets offered to punters and a large proportion of the new meetings covered were international. American and Swedish trots, Pommy dogs, Korean and German racing and a whole lot more. The race information used to set markets and take wagers on these fixtures didn’t come for free either, and this new cost was a large part of the $9 million he was referring to in his article.
(f) The REAL key figure – as I related above, the three code operating expenditure had skyrocketed by $45 million in a year – FIVE TIMES the $9 million dollar product fee increase that Racin’ Nathan was blaming for the RQ black hole
(g) The fact that the State wagering tax – aka racing revenue – had been slashed under the wagering agreement by a third for tote bets – from 20% to 14%; and in half on fixed price wagering – the fastest growing revenue segment for Tatts on the three code gambling side of the ledger – from 20% to 10%.
(h) That the decision to carve a huge hole out of racing’s revenue by slashing the taxes was totally inexplicable given that RQ had held the whip hand in negotiations during the hotly contested contract tender process, and had cost the Queensland Racing industry somewhere in the vicinity of $30-35 million dollars in the past year alone, and would continue to cost the industry that and more every year for the 30 year duration of what any half decent journalist would now know was the dodgiest deal in the whole wide world, and would be starting to label The Great Rock n’ Roll Tattsbet Rip Off.
(i) That $7.5 million had disappeared from racing’s revenue base because some f*ckwit General Counsel almost certainly named Slippery Slam Adams had neglected to take the basic step of checking the copyright on a ridiculous computer generated game that the joint-venture daylight heist that RQ and Tatts had just pulled off included as a term of its contract, and now could not be paid and had been forfeited because as anyone who’d ever punted in a pub ot TAB in Sydney or Melbourne knew, the copyright holder was TabCorp
(j) That the missing $30-35 million from wagering tax revenue and the $7.5 million pretend racing game that had gone up in flames were being masked by the payment of a new $15 million annual product fee with a real value that would diminish yearly by by 20% of the inflation rate and cost the industry nearly a hundred million dollars over the life of the deal; and by the leftover $17.5 million from what was supposed to be a pair of $37.5 million dollar payments each to the racing industry was hiding the rest; and that what couldn’t be hidden by the $32.5 million in payments made into the accounts was the vast bulk of the $18 million loss that Tatts were imminently going to announce
(k) That the twin $37.5 million buck payments by Tatts that we never saw were the first two of only four – the other duo would be paid in the years 2020 and 2023 – and that in the off years (26 of the 30 covered by the wagering agreement) there would be a massive gaping crater in the racing accounts of upwards of $20 million a year, and that no amount of overpriced beer or 10 buck banger and mash pies with mushy peas would ever be able to put even a tny dent in the cavernous gap between what racing two years ago had, but now has not
(l) The 2 x $37.5 million payments to the industry had morphed into just $17.5 million to a degree because of the forfeited fantasy racing $7.5 million, but mainly because the Queensland Government had trousered $50 million from the 1st two payments and chucked it into the general government mincer instead of handing it over to the racing industry like they all promised us they would
(m) This $50 million pick-pocket’s lift from racing revenue was actually WRITTEN INTO THE WAGERING AGREEMENT! The race was a boatie! It was fixed from the start! But they all told us we were getting the full $150 mil – Racin’ Nathan old us, Amazing Grace told us, Tattsbet told us, Can Do and his man Steve Dickson told us, the Premier told us, Bill Byrne told us, Tim Nicholls told us; they all told us. And they all lied.
That’s all bad sportsfans, real bad, but it’s about to get a whole lot worse, Far worse than you could have imagined in your wildest f*cking dreams.
Hold onto your bloody seats as tight as you can, and only let go if you spot one of those f*cking arsehole low-life lying scumbags dogs of former Directors like Ross Tinniswod who looked you in the eye and told you huge porkie pies about the parlous state of the race clubs finances and why the BTC and QTC had to merge.
Yeah, if you see Roscoe or any other of those f*cking wombat headed benter than the brothers SomeAre and BlackAnd bastards let go of your seat, pick the c*nt up the collar and hurl him or them from the top strand of seats in the member’s stand, while you’ve still got one to throw him from.
Still got one?
No! No! No! No! NO!NO! NO!
A Showtime Events, Bet Fairy and Optimal Media Group Production. Promotion and half naked women produced and directed by Whimpey Dave. Transport including keys and a 99 year lease on the car kindly provided to family members by a joint venture between Racing Queensland Legal and he Directors Room red plonk drunks of the BRC.
There’s only one way racing’s going to be able to stem a multi-hundreds of millions of dollar bleed from the industry’s coffers and survive isn’t there sportsfans?
And you don’t need me to tell you what it is.
Haven’t raced at Eagle Farm much over the past few years have we punters? And as much as we might miss it we’ve lived alright without it too.
So have Tatts.
It’s actually hugely in the company’s financial interest never to race at any track in Brisbane at all.
You see they don’t get a remission on product fees for Brisbane Racing, and the whack by the corporates and the other TAB’s goes straight to RQ, not to them.
But – and its a HUGE BUT – every single cent that Tatts pay to NSW or Victoria or Seoul or Santa Anita or anywhere in Australia or across the wide world gets knocked off the 39% of revenue variable product fee that Slippery Sam and the boys slipped into their licence to print money and never-ending waterfall filled with rivers of gold called the wagering agreement.
You’ve just seen exactly how it works too, in the annual accounts and in Racin’ Nathan’s wretched piece of swiss cheese that he has the hide to try and tell us is a fair and balanced report on racing’s parlous state of play.
I’ve been telling you this for a month now Sportsfans, and now I’ve laid it out.
As night follows day there are going to be a whole bunch of self-interested liars, con-men, rort-merchants and thieves running around the track tomorrow telling you Archie Butterfly’s off his head and speaking total sh*t.
If you believe a word that these f*cking fakers tell then then you’re the biggest fool in Brisvegas, and almost certainly across the world.
Just do the sums Sportsfans. Numbers never lie.
Really, really f*cked.
Racing’s f*cked. These slimy, sleazy, greasy, greedy cash hungry bunch of c*nts who were supposed to protect racing’s interests and advance our industry have sold us straight down the river and directly into the Luggage Point sewerage treatment pond.
If we don’t stand up and scream right, right now race lovers, and keep screaming and don’t stop until every bastard can hear us and someone does something to save our beloved Sport of Kings we’re going to lose one of our time honored tracks.
Eight straight years or racing profit, and half a dozen years later we find ourselves here.
Hang ’em all from the nearest tree I say.
This is f*cking treason.