Casino gets the green light for greyhounds
CASINO Greyhound Racing club has been given the green light to return next Thursday as state-wide restrictions on the industry begin to ease.
The club has not hosted a race meeting since March 20 and will make a permanent move from its Friday timeslot to Thursdays.
Casino will hold day meetings over the winter months before moving to twilight meetings when daylight savings starts.
"A lot of people are really happy that we're coming back," club secretary-manager Ron Herd said.
"Our participants are a bit older and they like to come out for the day and get home before it gets too late.
"They've only had night meetings at Grafton and Lismore recently.
"We also enjoy the twilight meetings over the summer months, it's better for the dogs to run when it's a bit cooler in the day."
Greyhound racing across NSW has been restricted to a handful regional hubs with Grafton the closest track for Northern Rivers trainers when the coronavirus pandemic first hit.
Lismore returned to racing on April 14 while Casino was left in limbo.
"We were a little surprised that we didn't get back sooner when Lismore did," Herd said.
"I understand it though, it was all about containment and preventing the spread.
"The virus is still out there now and we just have to resume racing in the safest way we can."
Greyhound Racing NSW announced on Wednesday that all travel restrictions in place for participants will be lifted from June 1.
Chief executive Tony Mestrov said the regional racing zones put in place due to COVID-19 will also cease.
"I am very pleased to see the NSW Government unlock the regions for unrestricted travel which will bring to an end regional zoning measures and will help kick-start the road to normality for participants across our heartland," Mestrov said.
"I thank everyone for their great patience and support during what has been a disruptive period in their lives - it is a credit to all participants through their actions that they have helped keep the industry racing during COVID-19.
"I also remind people that we will still continue to operate under our COVID-19 biosecurity measures and maintaining all health and safety standards at venues."