This article appears on page 7 of today’s Courier-Mail, and doesn’t it sound like fantastic news for the Queensland racing industry?
$200 million bucks banged into racing!
You f*cking beauty!
We’re set for life!
Well sort of anyway. There’s just a few wee things the Sunday Mail forgot to tell you. They’re only minor details of course, and not really that important, but I’m going to tell you what they are anyway
‘The $200 million is actually spread out over 30 years.
Only $19 million has actually been directly allocated for immediate spending, and that is money from previous announcements made ages ago.
$13 million of it is for the Ipswich racecourse redevelopment, and that dough is dependent on an Ascot Green style commercial redevelopment going ahead on turf club land at the Brisbane Road end of the track, which is no certainty at all given the current corruption scandal out in that fine city (and did you notice that the gangster Paul Pisasale has just resigned from the racing club board? Mmmm.)
The other $6 million is for country and regional racing, was allocated more than a year ago, and is spread across 112 clubs, which means they’d each get about 50 grand if it was spread evenly – which it won’t be ‘cos Rocky, Mackay and Townsville will be getting the lion’s share – and would perhaps buy the club a new steward’s vehicle if they’re going cheap at a fire sale.
Another $44 million is in the Racing Infrastructure Fund, but that includes the cost of fixing the balls up at Eagle Farm and throwing $20 or $25 million at Clip Clop Kev so he can build either an industrial estate or a housing development or both around his new privately owned, Racing Queensland funded public-private partnership harness racing club at Yatala. That this going to happen now appears a dead certainty given the infrastructure plan and the faux quasi-research showing that Alberton’s the only place you’d ever want to build a harness racing track (more on this issue later).
So the long and short of it is that there’s not much left in the infrastructure fund, and if you believe in fairies or Labor pre-election promises they are going to build 2 greyhound tracks and another harness racing venue on top of Clip Clop’s out of that dwindling bucket of cash.
Another $57 million is supposed to be coming into the fund between 2020 and 2023, but that’s actually the two payments of $37.5 million each that Tatts is committed to pay the racing industry under the rorted 30 year wagering agreement, less $7.5 million for online poker-machine style electronic racing games that just like the virtual racing product won’t be happening because Tatts don’t own the patent or the licence, and a lazy $10 million or so minimum that the Government plan to rake off the top to make up some of the shortfall created by the insane tax reductions on gross revenue that it granted to Tatts.
No-one ever told the thoroughbred racing industry – which drags in about 80% of the state’s wagering revenue – that they’d never see the $150 million from Tatts did they? Well now I have.
Do you feel like a fool for falling for the Racing Qld/Nathan Exelby spiel at the time the wagering agreement was struck?
So that accounts for about $120 million, if you actually believe racing’s ever going to see it, which still leaves us with $80 million outstanding to make up the claimed $200 million that the Sunday Mail forgot to tell you (a) is an amount apportioned over 30 years, and (b) doesn’t actually exist.
How do Racing Queensland intend to find the 80 mil?
Easy, like this:
Asset sales under the guise of joint ventures, poker machines, property developments, and ‘increased wagering and commercial agreements’, which is code for a Tatts-Tabcorp merger predicated on a commission based system for bets placed with that entity on smart phones and tablets in venues operated by the newly merged company. Bet Fairy style apps, casino licences and pokie barns anybody?
The slight problem of course is that it looks very much like the merger is going to be blocked by the ACCC, so there’s a bit of a spanner in the works, but never mind, the property developers can just snaffle a bit more racing-owned land to make up for it can’t they? We might even give them the whole of Eagle Farm if we get desperate – it’s gotta be worth close to $80 million doesn’t it?
Ha, ha, ha sportsfans, the joke’s on you.
It’s not the only joke though, because if you believe Racing Queensland you’d not only be a moron, but you would also agree that $198 million is required for the future planned infrastructure and that with $120 million banked (or not, as the case may be) there’s a shortfall of $78 million that needs to be found.
How, when RQ has signed away the farm by striking the crook wagering agreement, are they going to find that sort of dough? Easy – see above.
It’s all just crap anyway though. The future projects for the next two years haven’t even been costed yet – for f*ck sake they haven’t even finalised the sites, how the hell could they price the construction? – and the projects over the next ten years haven’t even been determined, so it is absolutely and utterly impossible to know how much they are going to cost or how much dough needs to be raised to pay for them.
You’re being conned punters, absolutely and utterly conned.
This ain’t about growing the racing industry, this is about screwing it down and stealing all its assets by stealth using smoke, mirrors, bold claims, perjured promises, bluster, bullsh*t, false accounting, fake surveys and a more PR spin than there is salt in the Pacific Ocean.
You’ve been told.
Ignore the message at your own and the industry’s peril.