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Johnston Calls Out Taxpayer-Funded Greyhound ‘Rent a Crowd’ Inducements

Today in Parliament, the Independent Member for Clark, Kristie Johnston, asked the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Hospitality and Community Development, Nic Street, whether he felt it appropriate that taxpayer’s funds are being used to entice sporting clubs with cash inducements to attend greyhound race meetings at the Elwick Racecourse.

The ‘Sporting Clubs Challenge’, an initiative of the Tasmanian Hospitality Association and Hobart Greyhound Racing Club, involves sporting clubs being offered a $500 cash payment plus other inducements should they have 10 or more of their members attend the greyhound racing meeting at the Elwick Racecourse.

There is also an additional opportunity to win up to an extra $1000 with each sporting club drawing a greyhound for the main race.

“We all know that young males are especially susceptible to problem gambling and addiction, yet here we have the greyhound racing industry irresponsibly plying this demographic with taxpayer-funded cash incentives, drink and gambling vouchers.

It’s totally wrong, and I would even suggest it is a breach of the Responsible Gambling Mandatory Code of Practice for Tasmania,” Ms Johnston said.

“Greyhound Racing is in a steady decline in Tasmania and this is a desperate attempt by the industry to clear the cobwebs from their turnstiles and effectively bribe cash-strapped sporting clubs and their members into being part of a ‘rent a crowd’ in the hope of getting them hooked on this cruel ‘sport’.”

“It has nothing to do with bringing clubs together as the Minister suggested in his response,” Ms Johnston said.

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