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A greyhound being prepared to race. Lynne Sladky/AP/Press Association Images
a dog's life

Irish greyhounds are going global, but industry still gone to dogs

Greyhound board pens deal to take local races to William Hill’s online gamblers.

STRUGGLING IRISH GREYHOUND authorities have signed a deal with a global bookmaker to take the local arm of the sport to international gamblers.

The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) announced it was going into business with tote-wagering business EEyaa (Gibraltar) Ltd in a move which would open the door to UK bookmaking giant William Hill featuring domestic races online.

EEyaa has agreed to market and promote “comingling” for the IGB, which means international gamblers could bet directly into Irish greyhound-racing pools.

Bets down, debts up

The IGB has been fighting a huge downturn in income from its racing facilities, which last year generated less than half the amount turned over in 2006.

Betting receipts were down from €50.5 million in 2006 to only €20.9 million in 2013, while dents stood at nearly €22 million last year.

The board, which is also in charge of regulating and policing the greyhound industry, also receives about €11 million from the taxpayer-backed Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund.

Everyone’s a winner

IGB director of tote and wagering Joe Lewins said the partnership was a “win for all involved” and taking Irish greyhound racing international was a priority for the board.

William Hill’s Jamie Hart said the company was “delighted” to add IGB races to its fixture list.

“We anticipate Irish Greyhound racing will be the first of many new overseas racing events that we are going to add for the entertainment and enjoyment of our online audience,” he said.

READ: Decline in greyhound racing entries due to kennel cough

READ: Mass grave for racing greyhounds discovered in Limerick

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