The money makers in the industry are the bookmakers and £2.5 billion is staked annually on live greyhound racing. The bookmakers pay a voluntary levy of 0.6% of the total amount of all bets placed in the UK on greyhound racing to the British Greyhound Racing Fund. The BGRF are a limited company – the Directors comprising of bookmakers – track owners and GBGB officials. In the financial year 2014 – 15 the monies paid by the bookmakers in respect of this levy was £7.3 million.
The three major contributing bookmakers are Coral – William Hill and Ladbrokes but approximately 17% of all bookmakers choose not to pay into the levy. The major bookmakers also own 2 stadia each. Coral own Hove and Romford – William Hill Sunderland and Newcastle and Ladbrokes own Crayford and Monmore – whilst the remaining 19 licenced stadia are independently owned.
At least 99% of all bets staked on British greyhound racing are through the Bookmakers Afternoon Betting Service (BAGS) meetings – which now include evening meetings and are televised to the betting shops and streamed online to the internet simply to supply a betting product for punters.
BAGS is owned by a consortium of bookmakers who pay a fee directly to contracted tracks to hold race meetings – who then in turn pay trainers a contracted fee to supply dogs for the BAGS race meetings. This fee is separate from the levy paid to the British Greyhound Racing Fund and in 2012 BAGS paid the 18 contracted tracks £25 million who then in turn pay contracted trainers to supply dogs for race meetings.
Approximately 3,360 greyhounds are needed to perform every week for the near 80 BAGS races held every day.
BAGS meetings are not held as social events and their sole purpose is to supply a betting product for gamblers and of course – to make huge profits for the ‘money makers’ 10 hours a day – 7 days a week.
Despite earning millions of pounds profits for the bookmakers – the BAGS greyhound is the most exploited and abused of all racing greyhounds. Costing on average just £100 and more often trainer owned – these greyhounds are afforded very little – if any – in the way of welfare and if injured or too slow – they are as dispensable as their price tag.
In 2012 – two trainers who are contracted to supply dogs for BAGS meetings at Manchester’s Belle Vue dog track were exposed by Greytexploitations. Please click here for full article The Secret Slaves of the Dog Racing Industry.
“Were it not for BAGS, there would no longer be a sustainable licensed greyhound racing industry
in Great Britain” – Lord Donoughue Report