THE future of Queensland greyhound racing looks brighter than ever after wagering operator figures revealed record turnover for last month’s Nationals carnival held at Albion Park.
The night, which included the Group 1 National Sprint and Distance Championships, saw betting turnover of $3.2 million – the highest ever for a Queensland greyhound meeting.
The results followed on from a successful Winter Carnival in the Sunshine state, with betting up 25 per cent on the Winter Cup and 11 per cent on the Gold Cup – two of the other high profile group races.
Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club CEO Luke Gatehouse said it was an honour to host the Nationals in 2017 and commented that the results paint a positive picture for the future of Queensland greyhound racing.
“These figures show the industry is moving forward and indicates that we have put a lot of negativity behind us,” Gatehouse told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“It also solidifies that we are a code which is aiming to provide quality racing and good punting options.
“We have a long tradition of delivering key racing events and this was one of the best in recent memory.
“We feel interest in greyhounds is growing and we intend to take full advantage of that and present excellent racing events for years to come.”
Over 1,000 people were on course for the race night on August 25, with the most popular betting event being the Group 1 National Distance Championship which was taken out by star Victorian Fanta Bale (David Bale x Ucme Typhoon Aug ’14).
All up, $464,000 was wagered on the Distance decider, whilst on an average per-race basis each event on the night attracted betting of close to $267,000.
The results are rewarding for all involved, with plenty of time, effort and money poured into making the Nationals night the incredible spectacle that it was.
“It was a big investment from the Brisbane Club, Racing Queensland and UBET to promote the carnival and drive wagering turnover and it seems to have paid off,” Gatehouse said.
“The whole Nationals week was a great experience from the conference on the Tuesday right through to the race night on the Friday.”
The Brisbane boss is optimistic the wagering results will affirm Racing Queensland’s commitment to bolstering greyhound racing in the region which has been struggling for a number of years following the closure of the Gold Coast track in 2008.
In April, Racing Queensland announced it would be taking expressions of interest to identify options for two new greyhound tracks in south-east Queensland.
Then, in May, RQ unveiled plans which would see the current Albion Park site turned into a showpiece development, with non-racing income generated to be used to prop up racing in the state.
The projects would be funded by the Racing Infrastructure Fund which has $63 million available now with an additional $61 million of inflows expected from the UBET agreement which runs until 2023.
The initial plans to sell Albion Park were scuttled by council.
“The Nationals results show betting on greyhound racing in Queensland is booming and in order to help the code continue to grow we can only hope that Racing Queensland will stay true to the promises they have made to the industry, particularly related to infrastructure,” Gatehouse said.