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GBGB considers race integrity after Sittingbourne BAGS removal

The Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) will consider whether any Rules of Racing were breached at Central Park Stadium Sittingbourne in 2015, after a greyhound was incorrectly removed from the starting line at the request of Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service (BAGS).

Now that the Gambling Commission has concluded its own investigations into the 20:52 race on 23 April, the GBGB will be deciding if any action needs to be taken against BAGS, an organisation which provides greyhound media rights to bookmakers, for pulling the greyhound out after bookmakers had complained to them about unusual tri-cast combination bets on the race. A tri-cast is where the consumer chooses the first three greyhounds to finish in the correct order.

An internal report completed by BAGS found this to be an isolated incident and accepted that the removal, which caused the race to be reformed with new betting markets set for the remaining dogs, was the “incorrect course of action”. The provider has also revised policies and procedures to prevent similar actions being repeated.

Gambling Commission programme director Richard Watson is satisfied with the integrity of the betting market, but said that the questions over the integrity of the race at Sittingbourne is for the GBGB to determine.

“Interference in the betting market could amount to a criminal offence and undermines public confidence in the conduct of commercial gambling,” said Watson. “Removing the dog certainly wasn’t the right approach to take.

“We’ve considered whether doing this had any impact on the integrity of the betting market and are satisfied that no further action needs to be taken in this area. Any outstanding questions about the integrity of the race is for the sport’s governing body to manage.”

The GBGB has also taken this chance to remind bookmakers that if they become aware of suspicious betting patterns on any race, they should in the first instance notify the Commission and the GBGB.

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