July 24th marks the 85th anniversary of when the first greyhound race in the UK took place.
Manchester’s Belle Vue Stadium was the venue and over 1,700 spectators watched as the galloping greyhounds graced the grass.
Now, 85 years on, greyhound racing is still flourishing with over 3 million people regularly attending greyhound meetings and watching in excess of 70,000 races a year.
Over £2.5 million is wagered on greyhound racing at off course bookmakers in the UK’s high streets each year, making it the second highest turnover of any sport bet on by the general public- second only to horse racing and above football.
However, these figures are significantly lower when analysing online bookmakers business, typically being less than 4% of turnover as most internet betting customers enjoy placing bets on football (40-45% of total turnover) and on horse racing (40-45%) more than greyhound racing.
However, greyhound racing is still very much part of the rich tapestry of the betting world offering customers plenty of opportunities to wager on a number of different betting types.
Over 95% of bets on greyhound racing are placed directly on which greyhound will win the race. All greyhound racing in the UK are six runner events (eight in the US) and as well as bets on which dog will win the race, forecasts and tricasts are also popular.
A forecast bet is where you identify which greyhounds will come first and second in the correct order. A reverse forecast is where you select two greyhounds to finish first and second in either order (2 bets).
A tricast bet is where you identify which greyhounds will come first, second and third in the correct order. A combination tricast is where you select three greyhounds to finish first, second and third in any order (6 bets).
Both forecast and tricast betting is popular among those wishing to risk a small amount of money in order to achieve a big win as a typical return for a winning forecast bet is in the region of £20 for a £1, and a tricast is nearer £50 for every £1 invested.
At present there are 30 tracks in the UK of which 16 provide regular races for betting shops and online bookmakers. These 16 tracks are called BAGS tracks which stands for Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service and include the bookmaker owned Crayford, Romford, Sunderland, Monmore and Hove greyhound stadiums.
Each year in mid June the Greyhound Derby takes place where one canine earns in less than 30 seconds what an average household earns in a year - £100,000 or more is often the first prize.
Online bookmakers regularly offer online customers free bets on greyhound racing. New customers can get a matched bet say of £10, whereby an online bookmaker will give the new customer £10 when they wager £10 on a greyhound bet. You can also get free bets on tricast and forecast and on some vents online bookmakers offer you odds on which greyhound will finish last and also by how far a greyhound will win.