BETS ARE ON: Bundaberg officially gets TAB facilities
GREYHOUNDS: The dawning of a new era will officially start next month for greyhound racing in the region.
The NewsMail can today exclusively reveal the Bundaberg Greyhound Club, after years of trying, will finally get TAB status with the first meeting bets can be place on to be on May 13.
Meetings will now move to a Monday and be shown live on Sky Racing with punters around the world able to gamble on the races.
It is also expected to attract the best trainers and greyhounds from around the state, boosting the region's economy and the club's finances.
The NewsMail reported last month that the club was close to getting TAB status after infrastructure, including digital video network technology that allows the races to be broadcasted was installed.
Bundaberg joins Capalaba as new TAB venues.
"Bundaberg's conversion to a TAB club aligns with the State Government's vision of creating a more commercially focused racing industry,” Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said.
"This is great news for racing in Bundaberg, with the real potential to deliver increased sustainability and greater industry returns.”
The move will also increase prize money on offer.
All maidens andgraded races over 460m will now be worth $1575 with opens and finals for the same distance to be worth $1840.
Over the distance of 550m, the prize money increases to $2100 for maidens and graded races and $2365 for open races and finals.
Racing Queensland chief operations officer Adam Wallish said the announcement had been a long time coming for the club, which ran into financial trouble last year.
"Today is a day of celebration and a watershed moment for the greyhound code in Bundaberg and Queensland,” Mr Wallish said.
"The conversion from non-TAB to TAB will provide a wide-range of benefits.
"We're grateful for the ongoing support of Tabcorp and Sky Racing to turn this desire into a reality.”
Sky Racing representatives will visit in next few weeks to run tests to make sure the service is ready to go.
"The elevation to TAB is exactly the boost our club and Central Queensland greyhound racing participants needed,” Bundaberg Racing Club president David Plummer said.
"And I am sure it will stimulate further growth in participation and greyhound numbers and cement our region as a major player in the wider industry.
"I thank Racing Queensland for the commitment and dedication demonstrated in taking Bundaberg to TAB status and I extend my appreciation to the Sky Racing team for their help and support.”
The first TAB meeting on May 13 will have two feature events, a best eight over 460m and a free for all over 550m. Both races will offer $5250 in prize money.
The club will hold non-TAB meetings until April 27, including the Easter Cup, before making the switch.