BAGS to remind tracks to keep an eye on bookmakers

Barry Faulkner

BAGS, the Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service, has said that it will address the concerns highlighted by the Gambling Commission over the robustness of the mechanism to deliver SPs for greyhound racing.

The organisation issued a statement, saying: “The Commission comments that although there will be no criminal charges, there remains a degree of concern about the integrity of the markets on the Sittingbourne races. BAGS, which is committed to achieving and maintaining the highest possible levels of integrity in all aspects of greyhound racing and betting, shares this concern.

Providing betting office customers and bookmakers with a totally reliable betting product is a fundamental BAGS objective and we will be meeting with the Sittingbourne management as a matter of urgency to discuss how we and they should respond to the Commission’s findings.”

The Commission also urged BAGS to reinforce the contractual obligations and controls that underpin the integrity of the current SP system.

BAGS responded: “While the starting price system and the methods used by bookmakers to settle bets on greyhound racing is not under the direct control of BAGS, it is of great importance to us and we are committed to helping ensure that this, or any other, method of settling greyhound bets achieves the highest possible standards of integrity and transparency.

“We will, therefore, be reminding all tracks on the service of their contractual obligations and of the pressing need to ensure that their bookmakers are properly authorised and capable of providing the type of reliable service the betting public is entitled to expect.”

Meanwhile Barry Faulkner, chief executive of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, was happy that the sport itself has not been found wanting. He said: “The GBGB is pleased to note that the Commission expresses confidence in the Board’s ‘rigorous investigation into the races’ and the conclusion reached that ‘the races themselves were not manipulated.

“While the Commission says that there ‘remains a degree of undispelled concern about the integrity of the markets on the races’ it accepts that that is ‘a matter over which GBGB has no control.’”

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