A former Greyhound Racing Victoria employee is being investigated over a missing “trip of a lifetime” to Disneyland that was supposed to be given to a racegoer as a prize.
But the accused former employee, who The Age has chosen not to name for legal reasons, has denied any wrongdoing, and accused GRV of seeking retribution.
A former GRV employee is being investigated over claims they took advantage of a trip to Disneyland, which was meant to go to a racegoer.
The prize, worth $10,000, was part of a Gippsland Carnival promotion in 2017 and drawn at the Traralgon Cup in March that year. Racing industry insiders alleged the prize was not claimed by a racegoer, but was takenby the former employee.
When contacted by The Age, the accused employee said they were horrified by the accusations and willing to cooperate with any investigation: “I am lost for words really. I feel like this is just a targeted attack on me for other things that have happened,” the person said.
The former GRV employee told The Age a non-disclosure statement prevented them discussing the circumstances of their departure from the organisation.
The accused person said they did buy a ticket to travel to Disneyland in the US in 2020 with their own money, but the trip was abandoned.
“They were tickets purchased on my American Express card and refunded by Qantas,” the person said.
The Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner, Sean Carroll, is investigating, and corruption watchdog the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission has also been notified.
In a statement to The Age, a GRV spokesperson said the organisation asked integrity commissioner to investigate the claims.
“The GRV integrity unit investigated this matter, but was unable to obtain sufficient information,” a spokesperson said.
“The matter was subsequently referred to the racing integrity commissioner.”
In late 2016, GRV promoted its four-meeting Gippsland summer carnival by offering racegoers a chance to win a trip to Disneyland if they attended at least two of the four race days.
Racegoers needed to get their Gippsland Carnival family passport stamped on entry at a “passport pavilion,” with two stamps qualifying them to go into the draw to win the prize, advertised to be valued at $10,000.
The series kicked off with the Sale Cup on Boxing Day 2016, before the Warragul Cup (January 28, 2017) and Cranbourne Cup (February 11, 2017) meetings. The fourth and final meeting on March 25, 2017 was at Traralgon where the draw was held.
Advertising, including a video with then-Western Bulldogs captain Bob Murphy encouraging racegoers to get their passports stamped, was used to promote the carnival.
A source familiar with the promotion said there was very little uptake of the passport promotion and only a dozen or so people qualified for the competition.
A YouTube video of the draw on Traralgon Cup night showed organisers struggling to pronounce the name on the card, and the winner was not present to claim the prize. The organisers shown in the video are not accused of any wrongdoing.
YouTube video of the draw on Traralgon Cup night. These organisers are not accused of any wrongdoing.
The family prize, for two adults and two children, was touted as “a trip of a lifetime”.
“They [the winner] might not be on course tonight, but congratulations to the winner, it’s a trip of a lifetime valued at $10,000,” the MC said. “They will get their tickets mailed to them throughout the week.”
The matter was only recently referred to the Racing Integrity Commissioner for investigation.
While GRV was granted $140,000 in Victorian Racing Industry Fund money in 2016-17 to help promote the Gippsland Carnival, it’s not alleged the $10,000 prize was funded through that money.
The trip to Disneyland was never used again by GRV as part of a raceday attraction program.
An IBAC spokesperson said: “For legal and operational reasons, IBAC generally does not comment on whether we have a complaint or investigation before us”.
Sports news, results and expert commentary. Sign up for our Sport newsletter.
Most Viewed in Sport
From our partners
Source: Read Full Article