The Association of British Bookmakers has welcomed the news of a new £3m deal between greyhound racing and betting companies, including betting shop operators.
The Minister for Sport Mims Davies has announced that the funding will contribute towards new tailored training for veterinary staff, the expansion of an injury recovery scheme to ensure more greyhounds can enjoy a full and active life following racing, and the provision of more homes for dogs as they enter retirement, through increased funding for the Greyhound Trust.
The extra money will also go towards improving safety across the nation’s 21 licenced racetracks, kennel improvements and the provision of air-conditioning for trainers’ vehicles to improve welfare standards.
The voluntary commitment from Betfred, William Hill, Sky Betting and Gaming, and Paddy Power Betfair, was reached following discussions chaired by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which called for a fair return to the greyhound industry from bookmakers’ profits on the sport.
This follows major operators Ladbrokes-Coral, Bet 365 and Jennings Bet who have previously made commitments on the same basis.
The move will be underpinned by the ‘Greyhound Commitment’ – a long-term strategic plan from the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, which will ensure animal welfare and the integrity of greyhound racing remain paramount in the sport.
An ABB spokesperson said: “The relationship between greyhound racing and the betting industry is a long-standing and strong one and this increase in industry funding should help secure the future of greyhound racing in the UK. Over 95% of all retail bookmakers are now contributing to this voluntary fund and we are pleased that this additional funding will form part of a long-term strategic plan that will provide safer race tracks, training for veterinary staff and homes for retired greyhounds.”