Are the days of non-TAB greyhound racing numbered?

Are the days of non TAB racing numbered?

THE future of country racing in NSW remains bleak, despite the recent introduction of travel subsidy for non-TAB racing, according to trainers.

On July 1, Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) began paying trainers $20 for every greyhound engaged to race in a race at a non-TAB meeting.

However, prize money levels remain woeful, with many tracks paying as little as $210 to the winner of a race, as the non-TAB sector continues to be starved of financial support.

Hunter Valley trainer James Porter, who won just $375 at Muswellbrook with a first and a second on Sunday, says the financial landscape of country racing is woeful, with most trainers struggling to cover costs.

“The unplaced money is a good initiative, especially for the people just in the industry for the fun of it, but realistically $20 isn’t going to cover the food for a dog for the week,” Porter told Australian Racing Greyhound.

“A lot of work goes into each dog getting it ready for the track – it doesn’t matter if they are a city dog or a bush dog – they all get treated the same.

“By the time you take into consideration feeding the dog for the week, fuel driving to the track, paying to get in, getting some food and drink you really need to win a race just to break even.

“When you consider that there is only 10 races on at each meeting that means that a maximum of 10 people are going to break even for the week – the rest are paying out of their own pocket.”

Sign-up with Sportsbet

Porter believes it is a deliberate move from the authorities to phase out country racing, by depriving the clubs financially so that they are forced to close down.

“Every other competitive sport in Australia – whether its AFL, rugby league or soccer – is pouring money back into their sports at the grassroots level,” he said.

“GRNSW are trying to do the opposite – they are taking money from the bush through the prize money paid and cutting back the meetings in an attempt to starve country racing.”

With the spotlight on animal welfare, Porter says the regulators should be trying to support bush racing which gives many greyhounds, which otherwise wouldn’t be racing, the opportunity to extend their careers.

“Everyone is worried about animal welfare, but what they don’t understand is that a lot of the dogs up bush need country racing – they aren’t good enough to race TAB.

“I understand the whole idea was to originally close some tracks and to have these mega tracks – centres of excellence – and it’s not that I don’t support that idea, but if we shut down our bush tracks where are the slow dogs going to go?”

Despite the dire situation, Porter says he will continue to support non-TAB racing with his team of greyhounds.

“I really enjoy racing in the bush. It is a lot more relaxed and you have a great day out,” he said.

“I have some dogs which are owned by my kids which are limited to bush racing at this stage of their careers.

“I don’t race them to make money – I do it because they love it and my kids love seeing them race.

“It’s just a shame I have to dip into my own pocket to do so.”

Got feedback? Join the discussion Hide Comments

  1. I believe its attempt by the government to wind down Non Tab Greyhound Racing here in NSW by stealth ! Since the Ban was overturned and $41 million put on the table for the industry over 5 years by this government its the beginning of the end to Country Racing at a non tab level . Advisory to government and opposition parties have identified that the industry needs around $230 million dollars to bring the industry up to standard by all those authorities involved in the Greyhound Racing code .Here is some facts and figures and how we the Greyhound industry have been unfairly treated since the ICA was induced as a way of funding the three codes of racing here in NSW. For starters we generate around $135 million a year in Tax revenue for the government of the day,we also under the ICA subsidize the Gallops of around $35 million a year and the Trots of around $14 million a year .It wasn’t long ago that the Former Racing Minister and National Party Leader Troy Grant gifted the Gallops $10 million for a Race Carnival at Randwick which attracted a very few people also in the package from the Baird and Grant Coalition was $150 million for a New Grandstand at Randwick and since the construction was finished its attracted more seagulls and pigeons then patrons,Glady,s is saying the $41 million is all you get out of my government,We all know that this Feeble government will be gone at the next election and i pray that we can survive till then and Labor Party who should win this election come up with the proper funding for us to survive. Another By-Election is looming in the National seat held by Katrina Hodginson and the greyhound people in that seat should vote for the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party who took the fight to government on our behalf for a fair share and the over turning of the ban, by voteing for the SFFP this will give us another voice in Parliament which we dearly need.

  2. Why can’t all meetings be streamed and a tote formulated .If people want to bet at Kempsey or Taree why can’t they .The races could be streamed live via Facebook So with no major cost you could have Adverts on your facebook page plus what ever the Tote makes There would be little or no crowd lost It is a win win

  3. I could rave on for hours why non-TAB greyhound racing should never end but suffice to say that it would be a tragedy for the sport in all aspects.

  4. I cannot see Non-TAB racing simply go away unless it is legislated by govt and outlawed, i don’t think so not after last time but anything is possible pollys tend to be suicidal at times.
    The word is that Glady’s is more right wing than left, YOU CAN’T FOOL US GLADY’S WE DON’T BELIEVE THAT FOR A MINUTE.