The popularity of Greyhound Racing has been increasing over recent years with attendances at tracks reaching four million a year. There are 31 licensed greyhound tracks in the UK. According to the gambling commission up to 4% of the adult population in Britain bet on greyhound races. This compares to 13% gambling on horse races. Turnover on gambling in general has been seen a dramatic increase up to £53 billion in 03/04. The rise of online gambling has made betting on greyhound racing quicker and simpler than ever before.
Every night of the week greyhound racing can be seen at one of the following venues : Belle Vue (Manchester), Brighton, Brough Park (Newcastle), Coventry, Crayford Glasgow, Gretna, Hall Green (Birmingham), Harlow, Henlow, Hull, Kinsley, Mildenhall, Milton Keynes, Meadow Court, Nottingham, Oxford, Rye House (Hoddesdon), Perry Barr (Birmingham), Peterborough, Poole, Portsmouth, Reading, Romford, Sheffield, Sittingbourne, Sunderland, Swindon, Walthamstow, Wimbledon, Wolverhampton and Yarmouth.
Racing also takes place during the day at BAGS meetings – Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service. These meetings are also included in the GreyhoundPredictions tipster service. They were set up for off course bookmakers to offer betting during the day.
Greyhound Racing began in its current form in the UK in 1926 at Manchester’s purpose built Belle Vue stadium. The sport was an almost instant success after its import from America.
Each greyhound is assigned a class chosen from the best time the dog achieves in trials. The class is chosen that gives the dog a good chance of winning against greyhounds with similar ability. Open Race grade (OR) races allow any grade of dog to race. For graded races the system is to assign a letter prefix for the distance of the race, ie A represents a distance of 470m at Belle Vue, and a number for the grade, 1 being the highest, giving A1 for the fastest dogs over 470m down to A9 for the slower dogs at Belle Vue stadium. There are also greyhound races over hurdles at many venues.