The Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) has welcomed UK bookmakers’ decision to supply an additional £3m in funding to the provision of greyhound welfare and the uplift of the greyhound racing industry as a whole.
The funding commitment will be paid for by UK bookmakers, after the UK Gambling Commission secured a voluntary agreement with Betfred, William Hill, Sky Betting & Gaming and Paddy Power Betfair.
It will form the foundations of the long term strategic plan announced by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, the ‘Greyhound Commitment’, which will ensure that animal welfare and sport integrity remain at the forefront of 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.”
UK Sports Minister Mims Davies announced that the funding will be used to provide tailored training for veterinary staff, the development and expansion of post-injury rehabilitation scheme for greyhounds, UK-wide improvements to safety standards. and the provision of more homes for retired dogs. This will be overseen by The Greyhound Trust
Backing the new funding scheme arrangement Davies commented: “I am delighted to have reached an agreement with leading operators to ensure the welfare of our greyhounds is protected and improved through this fund.
“As the sixth most watched sport in Britain, it is clear that the welfare and care of all racing greyhounds, from registration to retirement, must be a fundamental part of its successful future.
“I strongly urge all remaining bookmakers that take bets on greyhound racing who have not signed up to this agreement to follow suit and support the sport.
“Any greyhounds put to sleep due to medical treatment being too expensive, or poor prognosis is one too many – we must stop this.”
The new contributions follow the Ladbrokes-Coral, bet365 and Jennings Bet announcement in 2018 that they would be backing a new co-funded scheme for Greyhound racing.