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The Gambling Commission has conducted an investigation into a greyhound race in which a dog was incorrectly removed from the starting line.

The investigation was launched after staff at Central Park Stadium Sittingbourne removed a dog from the 20.52 on 23 April 2015.

Enquiries revealed that the greyhound was pulled out of the event at the request of Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service (BAGS) – an organisation which provides greyhound media rights to bookmakers. Bookmakers had complained to BAGs that there had been unusual off-course tri-cast1 combination bets on the race. 

This caused the race to be reformed with the remaining dogs and new betting markets were set. The Commission investigation found there were no integrity issues with the outcome of the reformed race.

Richard Watson, Commission programme director for enforcement and intelligence, said: “Interference in the betting market could amount to a criminal offence and undermines public confidence in the conduct of commercial gambling.

“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.”  

A BAGS internal report concluded that this was an isolated incident and accepted that to request the removal of a dog prior to the race was the incorrect course of action. The greyhound media rights provider has now revised policies and procedures to prevent similar actions being repeated.

The Commission worked closely with the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) during enquiries into this event and shared information with GBGB to ensure the rules of greyhound racing are upheld.

Further notes

  1. A tricast bet is a bet where the consumer chooses the first three greyhounds to come home in the correct order.
  2. More information about how we regulate the gambling industry.
  3. Useful statistics on the gambling industry
  4. Journalists can contact our press office on 0121 230 6700 or email:communications@gamblingcommission.gov.uk
Posted on 19 July 2017