Punters shouldn’t expect to be allowed back onto Victorian racetracks until at least the spring
Racing Victoria initially banned spectators on March 13 for an initial four-week period but Country Racing Victoria chief executive Scott Whiteman told RSN that lockout would probably be extended.
Whiteman said the RV board would meet on Wednesday but he was almost certain punters would remain barred through the winter.
“The official line is there is no customers until the 14th of April but that is going to be extended out until the end of May, if not longer,” Whiteman said.
“If I had a crystal ball, I would say we’re not going to see customers back on course until September, if not October.”
The coronavirus pandemic has produced a huge economic downturn around the world, which has caused Racing Victoria to review its expenditure.
RV announced a prizemoney cut for both city and country racing on Tuesday but Whiteman said no country clubs are under threat.
Whiteman said many country clubs “run on the smell of an oily rag” but there were no plans to shut down bush clubs.
“There is no discussion at all about closing any of the country venues,” Whiteman said.
“In fact many are in mothballs right now and ready to help the industry should we get to a half-way house between current (arrangements) and no racing at all.”