Trails And Tribulations In Victorian Greyhound Racing

Integrity and transparency are catch-phrase words in this new millennium. Whilst both are age old concepts their application in Greyhound racing until the last decade or so was basically left in the realm of the stewards and with the Vice and Gaming Squads.

More recently, with increased pressure from Government and Community groups and with the rise of companies such as Betfair and corporate bookmakers, the need for the defense of these concepts has increased with most racing authorities now employing an Integrity Officer, or some similarly named person.

I have always thought Greyhound racing was the best monitored, well governed and policed of all the racing codes in Australia. Something has come to light of late that I believe needs urgent investigation and appropriate actions.

In both Racing and Harness details of all trials at registered race tracks are recorded and published. In fact DVD copies of said trials are readily available and in Horse Racing, entire programmes focus on these.

In Harness racing these DVD of trials are available to the public for a purchase price, but more importantly all trials (fields and results) can be found on the Harness racing website. This provides all the sports participant’s equal access to vital information.

In Greyhound racing this is not the case, despite all states having websites that could easily provide the information.

Filming of trials is another question but certainly the results of trials should be available to the public not just to a privileged few. In the best monitored racing product in the world (Hong Kong Horse Racing) such an omission of information access would be considered criminal.

Currently in Victoria it is alleged that public trials are filmed at a metropolitan track but that the film (and the identity of the participants, dogs and handlers) is available to only a very select few.

If so this is an outrage.

It demands immediate investigation by authorities as it strikes at the heart of transparency and integrity issues.

Gambling is the life-blood of the industry and its integrity, along with access to all form related information, should be a major area of consideration for those who claim to care for our future.

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