It has been another very busy month for greyhound racing in Victoria with exciting new developments and significant progress on a few fronts.
Firstly, as you may be aware, the North American market, one of the largest in the world, has now been opened up to allow direct wagering on Victoria greyhounds. Tabcorp and Sky Racing have brokered new commingling arrangements so that American audiences can now bet directly into Tabcorp’s Australian pools. Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) and our Victorian Racing Industry partners, Racing Victoria and Harness Racing Victoria have been working with Tabcorp and Sky Racing, first to broadcast Victorian racing into North America and then to help secure this new deal.
It will put Victorian greyhound racing on show on an international stage and generate increased wagering revenue for reinvestment in the sport and for further boosting prizemoney and other returns. Victoria already hosts more greyhound races than any other jurisdiction worldwide and this deal will give us the opportunity to dramatically expand our customer base as well.
In other news, GRV and Victoria’s 13 greyhound clubs have now finalised this year’s Club Registration and Funding Agreements and related Operating Standards. As both the central pillar of our code in the state and as significant community hubs, Victoria’s greyhound racing clubs have many responsibilities such as racing integrity and safety, Occupational Health and Safety and statutory governance requirements for non-profit organisations. These agreements will help clubs in best meeting these responsibilities and I thank all the club managers and administrators and Greyhound Clubs Victoria for working so productively with GRV on this key issue.
Another issue that GRV is working on with clubs to improve safe racing is harrowing. GRV, in conjunction with Greyhound Clubs Victoria, is undertaking a review into harrowing practises across all Victorian clubs to see how they can be improved to maximise safe racing through consistent racing and trialling surfaces. The review is seeking input from Clubs including club track staff, participants, and key stakeholders. The existing GRV policy will be reviewed to support a structured approach to this issue The review will be independently chaired and is expected to be completed by early September 2031.
I’d also like to remind you that GRV’s new Desexing and Dental Scheme is now operational. GRV will directly pay up to $400 (including GST) for an eligible male greyhound and up to $500 (including GST) for an eligible female. It is open to all Victorian-owned greyhounds and interstate-owned greyhounds that have trained and raced in Victoria for at least three months prior to retirement. Participants can nominate their own Victorian-based veterinary clinics. You can find more details and application forms at greyhound-care.grv.org.au/rehoming/desexing-and-dental-scheme.
The Traralgon track redevelopment remains on schedule, and you can inspect the progress in person at the upcoming Participant Day which will be conducted in late August/ early September. It will be a great opportunity to see how one of the world’s most advanced greyhound racing track is shaping up and to talk with the people behind the project. You can visit the Traralgon Greyhound Racing Club website to find out more and to check for when the Participant Day date is confirmed.
Finally, I’d like to again thank all of you, participants, club and race day staff and volunteers, for your patience and cooperation in getting the sport through another lockdown while keeping our very full racing calendar on track. Please continue to stay safe and I look forward to seeing all of you back at the races as spring gets closer.