Racing Victoria is trapped between spiralling costs and stagnant gambling revenue, forcing it to cut costs and ponder ambitious program changes designed to boost wagering from offshore markets.
The result is likely to be more night meetings, designed to dovetail into the right time zones for Asia and Europe.
It is also likely to lead to a concentration of quality product on fewer days, particularly in the late summer and autumn, in a bid to drive wagering growth and boost on-track attendances.
The sport's rulers are also looking to foster increased interest from women across all sectors of the industry, not just as racegoers but also as participants.
The message given by RVL chief executive Bernard Saundry and chairman Rob Roulston on Thursday was blunt: the sport needs to find ways to drive wagering growth so dividends can be ploughed back into the industry.
If it can't, then it will face the prospect of decline.
The rise of corporate bookmakers and the rapid explosion of digital technology, which has changed the media and wagering landscape, has hit the industry and it is floundering as it seeks ways to rebuild its revenue base.
''We have a $5 billion wagering market which is growing at 1 to 2 per cent a year, while our costs are growing at 3-4 per cent a year,'' Saundry said.
''We have 570-odd meetings a year, and the status quo is not acceptable. We need growth of 3 to 4.5 per cent. We need to make changes to our racing program. We have to develop the summer and early autumn period.
''More women participating in the business is vitally important.''
Racing is a mixture of sport and business. It is a numbers game.
It needs good-size fields to encourage wagering, but it also needs good horses that the public can identify with and events that fans want to attend. The spring carnival is a big success, but outside of that it is a struggle to build attendance.
''Horses on average have 4.5 starts per year. We need to get horses to start more regularly,'' Saundry said. ''We have 576 meetings, there are 100 to 120 where we attract people to enjoy a day out. The rest, some 75 per cent, are meetings that are really there to drive off-course wagering. How do we run cost-effective race meetings on those industry days? Sometimes we have more corporates and staff than paying customers on these days - we need to cut the cost of holding race meetings.''
Roulston said the industry was struggling to adjust to the new reality where it was no longer completely subsidised by generous payments from a monopoly tote.
''We have had a structure for 50 years where we have been funded by a wagering operator who paid us 5 to 6 cents in every dollar. Technology has changed the market dramatically and corporate bookmakers have captured a large share of the market. Our margins are under threat. Those states that don't respond quickly or well will be out of the market quickly.
''Costs have to be looked at, we won't compromise on service but that does not mean you can't cut costs and maintain services.
''We definitely see the future as developing the international customer base but how you clip the ticket is a difficult journey. We have to work out how we get a decent earn from it.''