Victoria’s racing industry
Racing has a long and proud history in Victoria and the racing industry is significant to our state's economy and sporting culture.
Victoria has world-class racing and training facilities with the industry employing thousands of people in both metropolitan Melbourne and country Victoria. The industry remains an important economic driver for the state with race days such as the renowned Melbourne Cup Carnival and the broader Spring Racing Carnival driving tourism and boosting local businesses.
Racing in Victoria generates $4.3 billion for the Victorian economy and is directly responsible for sustaining more than 33,800 full time equivalent jobs. More than 121,200 people are directly employed, volunteer or participate in racing industry activities.
The Victorian Government is proud to support world-class race days and racing infrastructure across regional Victoria that helps build community engagement, supports charitable organisations, provides employment and improves the liveability of regional communities.
The Office of Racing within the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions is responsible for providing policy and legislative support to the Minister for Racing, delivery of the Government's racing agenda, minor licencing such as Calcutta Sweepstakes and mixed sports gatherings, licensing of race clubs and racecourses, and delivering the Victorian Racing Industry Fund (VRIF) program.
The Victorian Government, through the Office of Racing, works in partnership with Racing Victoria, Country Racing Victoria, Harness Racing Victoria and Greyhound Racing Victoria to maintain and grow a strong and vibrant racing industry.
- Racing is a major economic driver for Victoria, generating more than $4.3 billion annually and supporting more than 33,800 full time equivalent jobs across the state.
- More than 121,200 people are directly employed, volunteer or participate in racing industry activities.
- Victoria plays host to the annual Spring Racing Carnival, which includes the famous Melbourne Cup.
Victorian Racing Industry Fund
The Office of Racing is responsible for administering the VRIF. The fund provides grants for animal welfare initiatives, club infrastructure upgrades, breeding programs, integrity measures and race day attraction programs across Victoria.
The fund improves the quality and safety of racing and training infrastructure, particularly in regional Victoria. It improves public facilities at Victorian racing venues and provides ongoing support for breeding across the three racing codes. It also provides funding for projects that support the welfare of racing animals and supports the wellbeing of jockeys and trainers.
The Victorian Government has announced that $150,000 of the Victorian Racing Industry Fund program will allocated to provide bushfire-affected clubs up to $25,000 to bolster raceday attractions and entertainment for meetings held this year and encourage people to attend regional races and support local tourism.
Integrity is at the core of racing and the Victorian Government is supporting the industry to strengthen its integrity standards.
The Victorian Government has introduced new laws to bolster integrity standards by providing independent oversight and a robust disciplinary framework for the industry, which includes the recent establishment of two new bodies - the Victorian Racing Tribunal and the Victorian Racing Integrity Board.
Victorian Racing Tribunal
The Victorian Racing Tribunal hears and determines serious offence charges and a broad range of appeals relating to the imposition of penalties for offences against the rules of racing of the controlling bodies.
Victorian Racing Integrity Board
The Victorian Racing Integrity Board has a broad range of functions to strengthen the integrity of racing across all three racing codes including:
- endorsing annual integrity plans;
- providing recommendations in relation to integrity budgets;
- advising and making recommendations relating to integrity policies and licensing procedures; and
- reviewing proposed amendments to the various rules of racing that relate to integrity.
Victorian Racing Integrity Commissioner
The Racing Integrity Commissioner is an independent statutory officer, appointed by the Governor in Council, under the Racing Act 1958 (Vic).
Mr Sal Perna was appointed as Victoria's inaugural Racing Integrity Commissioner on 1 March 2010. His appointment has been extended on four occasions with his current appointment expiring in 2021.
The Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner gathers information on integrity related issues regarding the Victorian Racing Industry, across the harness, greyhound and thoroughbred racing codes.
Licences, guidelines and permits
The Office of Racing administers a variety of racing and betting permits and licences.
Calcutta Sweepstakes are lotteries in which the winner is determined by the outcome of a sporting contingency, such as the Melbourne Cup. There is no prescribed format for conducting a Calcutta Sweepstakes, however it would usually involve a lottery draw and an auction open to all ticket holders.
Clubs wishing to hold Calcutta Sweepstakes must obtain approval from the Minister for Racing.
Mixed sport gatherings
Mixed sports gatherings (MSGs) are defined broadly and may include foot races, bicycle races or any other games, pastimes or contests where persons are admitted as spectators, irrespective of whether an admission fee is charged. MSGs may only be conducted with the written consent of the Minister for Racing.
Anzac Day race meetings
Racing clubs seeking to conduct meetings on ANZAC Day may require the approval of the Minister for Racing. For information about ANZAC Day race meetings, please contact the Office of Racing using the contact details below.
Club betting permits and racing club licenses
For information about club betting permits and racing club licenses, please contact the Office of Racing using the contact details below.
Phone: 03 9668 2403
Page last updated: 24 February 2020