Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) have seized the race dates initiative and made a bold play to race 26 times week for 12 months until July 2021.
While the NSW greyhound bodies are looking the other way, GRV have increased their weekly Victorian greyhound race schedule from 23 to 26 meetings a week.
GRV CEO Alan Clayton said, “We will put on three extra race meetings a week funded from additional monies added to the existing prizemoney pool.
“This means that there is no prizemoney reduction to the current racing program with the additional meetings funded by new money.”
Mr Clayton said expanding the racing program would grow revenue and create jobs, which would lead to increased prizemoney and returns to participants and thus help secure the future of our sport.
The move, which is designed to increase Victoria’s wagering turnover, comes shortly after GRV announced the provision of Victorian greyhound racing into the United States betting market. The US online sports betting and wagering market is undergoing an explosion as legalisation opens up in many states.
Free Greyhound Trials For Victorians
Mr Clayton also announced that from 1 August 2020, all Victorian greyhound trials would be free in a bid to help owners and trainers during the COVID-19 hardships. He said free trials would be introduced to help ease financial pressures faced by participants and improve welfare outcomes.
“This program has been developed in collaboration with Greyhound Clubs Victoria (GCV) as part of the stimulus package to sustain our sport and support participants,” Mr Clayton said.
“The trials will be administered and managed by GCV and club managers and the program covers pen trials, arm trials and post-race trials.
“It is expected that the implementation of free trials will further assist in the reduction of injuries.”
Mr Clayton said GRV would be conducting research into the success of the trials in relation to their impact in reducing track injury.
“The trials will also give clubs the opportunity to employ more local people and assist in maintaining tracks at a high standard,” he said.
GRV and GCV will review the trials program’s operations on a monthly basis to ensure that it is tracking as anticipated and participants are able to access trials.
“GRV and GCV have had dialogue with all club managers to work through the associated scheduling, recording and reimbursement issues,” Mr Clayton said.
“Prior to August 1, GCV and club managers, assisted by GRV, will determine how participants can book the free trials, including monitoring the numbers of greyhounds which can be trialled on any one day and potential penalties for anyone nominating a greyhound, but failing to trial.”
Greyhound Clubs Victoria chairman Adrian Scott said he welcomed the opportunity to work with Greyhound Racing Victoria for this important funding contribution.
“We are grateful for the support of the State Government through the Experience Economy Survival Package, this will provide a boost to our industry and in particular clubs and participants who will directly benefit through increased prizemoney and free trials,” Mr Scott said.
“While we have been able to continue with the scheduling of our race meetings, albeit without crowds, clubs’ revenue streams have been hit hard and that has impacted in a number of areas.
“This funding and the initiatives will ensure that we continue to support participants with a broader spread of prizemoney and cost savings with the introduction of free trials.”
Funding for both initiatives are supported by the $3.42 million GRV received from the state government’s Experience Economy Survival Package. GCV and clubs are expected to provide further information about the trials in coming days.