As other sports sleep, greyhound racing continues to thrive with Capalaba among the clubs benefiting from increased gambling revenue

CAPALABA Greyhound Racing Club are relishing the opportunity to continue running events amid the coronavirus crisis.

PLAY ON: Greyhound racing is continuing at Capalaba despite almost all other sports being put into hibernation during the coronavirus crisis. Photo: Alan Minifie

PLAY ON: Greyhound racing is continuing at Capalaba despite almost all other sports being put into hibernation during the coronavirus crisis. Photo: Alan Minifie

President John Catton said being one of the last remaining sports had worked in their favour, with the club enjoying its greatest turn-over of gambling revenue last weekend.

He said there was no end in sight for races at the track despite a blanket ban on racing in Tasmania sending shock waves through the industry.

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"We can go on like this for as long as they want us to. There has been no angst within the industry," Mr Catton said.

"The angst will be if they do shut us down because there are still substantial costs to feeding the dogs and making sure they're cared for.

"As long as everything stays the way it is then I think everything will continue to go along and we will race every Sunday."

The club has made several changes to their race day operations to ensure compliance with the government's social distancing rules.

Mr Catton said trainers and stewards were complying with the changes because their livelihoods depended on it.

"We have changed the way we box dogs and we have changed the way we put them into kennels and put them away," he said.

"You've got all your businesses and employees that will be affected if they do stop in the short or medium term.

"A lot of our employees are uni students that rely on their Sunday work to pay bills."

Mr Catton said playing on without spectators meant the club had lost its major revenue source but the gambling income from people watching on at home had offset costs.

"Obviously we don't have the staff there but we still operate at a reasonable income from the TAB," he said.

"Nothing has really changed for us other than we don't sell drinks or food anymore, which is our main income.

"From that aspect we are not spending money and we are not losing money. As long as we are breaking even it is a pretty good outcome."

Mr Catton said it was beneficial for races to continue as greyhound careers would be cut short if a blanket ban on racing was enforced in Queensland.

"There are a few dogs that are getting older and to get their fitness back up (to race standard) will take four to eight weeks," he said.

"Every week that is lost is a week they need to maintain fitness. Without being able to take your dogs out and train them and give them a trial, you are basically starting from scratch again."

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