Thursday, 19 March 2020

All British Greyhound Racing To Take Place Behind Closed Doors

Greyhound Racing

All greyhound races in the UK will now take place behind closed doors due to the coronavirus outbreak.

This week, the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) announced that all of its races will be moved to behind closed doors to clamp down on the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. The decision comes into immediate effect and follows new government advice regarding the virus and social distancing.

Reports have suggested that the rule will not apply to Scotland’s Shawfield Greyhound Stadium as the Scottish Parliament received different advice from that by the UK government. What’s more, all open racing will be suspended in the UK to reduce the need for travelling between stadiums.

Mark Bird, the Managing Director for the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, said in a statement: “We are likewise mindful of the health and wellbeing of everyone associated with British greyhound racing and of course our wider social responsibility to help minimise the transmission and impact of Covid-19.

The news comes after the British Horseracing Association (BHA) announced that it too will be moving all of its events to behind closed doors. However, the firm later changed its mind and cancelled all future meetings through to the end of April in a bid to slow down the virus.

Meanwhile, dozens of casinos across the United States have shut down for several weeks due to concern over Covid-19. In the UK, the Betting and Gaming Council has urged the government to back the gambling sector and provide it with funding to help businesses and employees.

What They Say

“As a sport, we have therefore taken the collective decision to move all racing behind closed doors from today across our licensed stadia in England. We believe that this is the best way of the sport continuing to operate safely and successfully for the moment; minimising risk but maintaining the cashflow that is essential to everyone’s livelihoods and to the care of our greyhounds.”

He continued: “We will be working alongside track owners and promoters to support those most affected by this, with greyhounds being entered into graded races where possible in the short term. These measures will help to safeguard the welfare of our greyhounds by ensuring that, although behind closed doors, racing continues wherever possible at this stage.

“However, as the situation developers at pace, we are also continuing to put in place contingencies and ring-fencing funds to support those working in the sport, should racing eventually need to pause altogether.”

Photo by Mark Galer on Unsplash.