Sydney’s first medically supervised greyhound racing room is set to open in the city’s west next year, in a bid to provide addicts a safe environment for gambling after the NSW parliament voted last week to ban the dogs from July 1, 2017.
The room will feature a full-sized track and rotating roster of 800 dogs, plus state-of-the-art TAB facilities, a well-stocked bar and a beer garden. Addicts will be provided with clean pencils and betting slips.
The move, inspired by the success of medically supervised injection and ice smoking facilities, has been met with enthusiastic support from the racing industry and gamblers.
A spokesperson for Liquor & Gaming NSW hailed the room a “godsend for the community”, saying it “will save lives”.
“This way addicts won’t be forced to race their family pets or children,” he said, adding that the “medical supervision” of gambling addicts would be provided by bar and TAB staff trained in first aid.
Local residents described the move as “necessary”.
“People need something to do between thoroughbred races and without greyhounds filling this gap, I’m concerned my husband could spend more time at home,” one woman said.