The Greyhound Board of Great Britain notes the announcement by the government that the maximum stake on FOBTs will be reduced to £2 and welcomes the government’s commitment to address the issue of problem gambling.
The GBGB is concerned, however, that the stakes reduction will cause further migration away from the high street to online and offshore platforms that are currently outside of the scope of the voluntary levy paid on retail greyhound turnover to the British Greyhound Racing Fund, which is vital for the Board to meet its welfare and integrity commitments.
Should the predicted widespread closure of betting shops eventuate, there could be three unwelcome consequences for the sport. Firstly, there is likely to be a reduction in retail greyhound betting turnover, which would reduce the amount collected through the voluntary levy. Secondly, it is possible that there will be an adverse impact on the value of media rights received by tracks from retail operators. Finally, there may be an increase in online betting, which is largely unregulated and is currently outside of the scope of the voluntary levy.
The GBGB has been in negotiations with bookmakers for a considerable amount of time about extending the voluntary levy to include online and offshore greyhound betting turnover. This issue now needs to be urgently resolved or concluded so that GBGB can fulfil its welfare obligations as outlined in its Greyhound Commitment.