Keith Laybourn
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The decline of greyhound racing in Britain, 1961–2017
in Going to the dogs
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Greyhound racing in Britain declined rapidly from the late 1940s onwards from about 200 tracks and more than thirty million attendances to about twenty-five licensed Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) tracks and two million attendances by 2017. The main reason for this is the discriminatory taxes imposed upon greyhound tracks that led to betting moving to the off-course bookmakers, which were not faced with such taxes. As a result greyhound tracks closed and those that remained became increasingly drawn into the business of streaming their races into Licensed Betting Offices and into the hands of the large bookmaking organisations. These organisations have taken over the industry and faced with competition from other forms of gambling activities have, often with property companies, closed down tracks that have proved to be uneconomic and built housing where they once stood. In recent years the sport has also had to deal with the controversial issue of cruelty to greyhounds, which has resulted in the issue of the GBGB Greyhound Commitment on 14 March 2018. Faced with this situation, greyhound racing would appear to be marking time and never has this looked to be the case more than when the Wimbledon tracks closed on 25 March 2017.

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Going to the dogs

A history of greyhound racing in Britain, 1926–2017

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