Few sports have had such a challenging existence as that of greyhound racing. But despite criticisms over the mistreatment of animals and dwindling racetrack attendances, it seems that greyhound racing could be having something of a revival in recent years.
This comes in the face of many governments and institutions making the controversial decision to ban the sport in many areas. Despite greyhound racing having been in existence for well over 100 years, public perceptions surrounding the sport have failed to catch up to many initiatives that have sought to make the sport much safer for the dogs.
As a result areas such as New South Wales in Australia have banned the activity. But despite this legislation, celebrated greyhound breeders such as Luke Foley have endeavoured to fight the ban and help the country maintain its $350 million industry.
The sport has not only enjoyed a rich history thanks to the betting activity that is synonymous with greyhound racing, but it’s become an integral part of the daily lives of many communities too.
Despite there now being around only 20 greyhound racing stadiums in the United Kingdom compared to 80 half a century ago, these still form the backbone of a long-standing tradition that’s finding a new audience in 2016. And thankfully even troubled greyhound racetracks like Oxford Stadium have been the subject of keenly fought campaigns to help them cater to a growing younger audience.
Thanks to the rise of smartphone technology, it’s now easier than ever for new betting enthusiasts to check out the runners on the track courtesy of Coral’s interactive betting site. And the internet has also helped provide a wealth of information for trainers and fans to gather resources to ensure that greyhound racing is kept as safe as possible.
With sites like the Greyhound Racing Association of America providing a detailed account of all activities across the nation, it’s helped dispel many unfortunate myths that have surrounded this much-loved sport.
And although it seems unlikely that greyhound racing will catch up to the viewing figures enjoyed by some of the top horse races, the proliferation of web-based outlets for live greyhound racing has meant that location is now no longer an obstacle for fans wanting to take a bet on the latest track action.
So although greyhound racing still looks to be in a period of turmoil, it seems that the fight isn’t over just yet.