State governments funnel millions of dollars each year into the greyhound racing industry. Breeding incentives, infrastructure and events grants, and appearance fees are all part and parcel of this taxpayer-funded support taken from state treasuries across Australia – all so that punters can make greyhound racing bets.
Yet, despite allegations of doping, money laundering, corruption and awful animal cruelty, the greyhound racing industry has been allowed to self-regulate, receiving very little – if any – government oversight and scrutiny.
So, what’s the return on this massive investment of public funds? An epidemic of gambling. Per capita, Australians gamble more than any other country, with $4 billion wagered on greyhound racing bets each year.
A Productivity Commission review estimated the total social cost of problem gambling to be at least $4.7 billion a year. And a 2014 Price Waterhouse Coopers report concluded that the NSW racing industry is a ‘consumptive sector’, and doesn’t ‘generate any significant productivity benefits to the rest of the economy’.