UK greyhound race
HAVANA CLASS lands the £3000 RPGTV Sprint Final in a new Track Record 15.45. Star Sports/TRC Events Derby Final night. Towcester 10th July 2021 Photo: © Steve Nash

Big four retail bookies sign Premier Greyhound Racing contracts

Maintaining a commitment to greyhound racing as a core betting product, the UK’s four biggest retail betting operators have renewed their partnerships with Premier Greyhound Racing (PGR). 

Betfred, William Hill, Paddy Power and Entain will continue to leverage content from the provider, with the latter distributing greyhound racing material via its Ladbrokes and Coral high-street holdings.

Signed a year in advance, the contracts will commence in 2024, after which PGR will supply pictures from its British tracks – nine licensed and five independent – to the four firms.

Mark Kingston, Director of Premier Greyhound Racing, said: “As important as greyhound racing is to the betting industry as a whole, greyhounds have always been a fundamental part of the betting shop service. 

“Signing up all major retail bookmakers to take the Premier Greyhound Racing service is therefore the biggest endorsement we could have for the content we will be providing from January 2024.

“This commitment from retail bookmakers also underpins the viability of the service as we look to drive a competitive betting product allied to the very highest welfare standards for the greyhounds racing at our tracks.”

PGR was established on 1 December 2021 as a joint venture between the aforementioned Entain and the Arena Racing Company (ARC), which collectively own the nine licenced tracks the company holds media rights for.

These are Crayford, Hove, Monmore, Romford, Central Park, Perry Barr, Newcastle, Sunderland and Nottingham, whilst the independent tracks the firm has paired with are Kinsley, Pelaw Grange, Sheffield, Swindon and Yarmouth.

The company has set out an objective to ‘unite stakeholders’ – including racegoers, owners and trainers – and becomes the ‘global home of greyhound racing entertainment’ via a seven-day schedule of on-screen fixtures to punters. 

Raising welfare standards is another goal for the company, an ambition overseen by Chair Lord David Lipsey and Non-Executive Director Clarissa Baldwin, who both joined the group’s senior management last year.

PGR’s movements in this area have included support for the Greyhound Racing Board of Great Britain’s (GBGB) welfare initiatives, such as committing £100,000 to research for the ‘A Good Life for Every Greyhound’ strategy.

Lastly, to expand the profile of the sport, Entain and ARC have invested £2.5m in Open Prize funding via PGR across the nine stadium, including a sponsorship of current £20,000 win prize Open Races such as the Premier Greyhound Racing Regency, St Leger, Oaks and Eclipse competitions.

The affirmation of the big four retailers commitment to greyhound racing comes after the sport came under some criticism last year, with a trio of charities calling for a permanent ban due to welfare concerns.

Hitting back, the GBGB panned the call as ‘ludicrous’, pointing to improvements in the sport’s welfare standard, as well as the implementation of the aforementioned ‘A Good Life’ strategy.

SBC News Big four retail bookies sign Premier Greyhound Racing contracts

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