Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) is the governing body responsible for regulating the WA racing sector.

Racing is subject to strict governance and integrity measures across the state. At RWWA, we have a team of people dedicated to safeguard the wellbeing of the equine and canine athletes of this sport.

This is how we do it.

Regulation

WA racing is regulated by law under the Racing and Wagering Western Australia Act 2003. Racing integrity, including welfare, is overseen by RWWA’s Integrity Assurance Committee, which is made up of independent members, not racing insiders. Owners of racing animals are not allowed in positions of responsibility over regulation under RWWA policy and the Rules of Racing. Stewards and other racing officials, for example, must not own a share in a racehorse. RWWA is the State-appointed regulator for the thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing codes.

Rules of Racing

The Rules of Racing are designed to protect all racing animals. These are effectively laws that regulate the action of all people in racing. The racing sector is also subject to the same legislation that governs welfare in WA, the Animal Welfare Act 2002. By comparison the Rules of Racing are much more prescriptive, outlining the requirements for many different areas of animal care. They are also able to be enforced strictly and rapidly, without reliance on the court system.

Learn more
Stewards

Stewards are the police of the racing sector and have the power to strictly enforce the Rules of Racing, both on and off the track. Stewards can, at any time, come on to a property where racing animals are kept. Unannounced kennel and stable inspections are regularly carried out to check on racing animals. Stewards’ powers as prescribed within the RWWA Act 2003, are more extensive than those provided to the police, and include the power to compel people to give evidence, admit entry and answer questions.

Penalties

Stewards can apply severe penalties to those who break the rules, including substantial fines and disqualifications. Animal welfare is taken very seriously when it comes to penalties. For example, stewards will impose fines from $300-$1,000 if a greyhound is found to have any fleas or ticks. If animal welfare is seriously compromised, stewards can impose fines of up to $100,000 or remove people from continuing to own or train racing animals through cancellations of licenses or disqualifications (either permanently or for a period of time).

Licensing & Registration

In the racing world, people are licensed and animals are registered. All people undergo a thorough examination to verify they are a fit and proper person to hold a licence. Stewards have the power to refuse to grant a licence. Racing animals must be registered and are tracked during all stages of their racing careers. This ensures we know  what animals are in the racing sector and where they are at all times.

Specialised Investigators

Outside of the stewards, there is a specialised Racing Investigations Unit, which investigates any suspected welfare concerns or wrongdoing by people in the racing sector. People are encouraged to report any concerns they may have and are able to remain anonymous.

Get in touch