Newly-launched entity, a joint venture between Entain and Arena Racing Company, announces working peer and former Chair of British Greyhound Racing Board as Chairman
Premier Greyhound Racing, a newly-launched joint venture between Entain, the global sports betting, gaming and interactive entertainment group, and Arena Racing Company have appointed Lord Lipsey as Chair.
Premier Greyhound Racing aims to deliver the market-leading greyhound racing product best serving racegoers, owners and trainers by delivering increased welfare standards and investment. It will promote the sport as a betting medium to drive revenues for operators, revitalising the sport in the process.
Premier Greyhound Racing will represent the interests of a total of 14 of Britain’s 20 official and regulated greyhound racing tracks. From January 2024, the company will offer a comprehensive package of racing both to digital and retail betting operators and their customers, worldwide from the nine Arena Racing Company and Entain stadia along with five independent tracks (Kinsley, Pelaw Grange, Sheffield, Swindon and Yarmouth).
Working peer Lord David Lipsey returns to greyhound racing following his four-year spell as Chair of the then-named British Greyhound Racing Board between 2004 and 2008.
David Lipsey has been a greyhound racing enthusiast for nearly half a century. He has owned several racing greyhounds and two greyhounds – Zac and Brenda – were adopted by him and his family.
As well as his involvement with running the sport he was a trustee of the Retired Greyhound Trust (now Greyhound Trust). Some five years ago he was called in by then Sports Minister Tracey Crouch to negotiate a new deal between Greyhound Racing and the bookmakers which resulted in a £2m a year boost to the sport’s finances, by working with digital operators to secure their contributions to the voluntary greyhound levy scheme.
Lord Lipsey brings a wide-ranging set of chairing and directorship experiences to the role, spanning entertainment, regulatory affairs, the betting and racing industries. He is currently a member of the board of horseracing’s Starting Price Regulatory Commission
Commenting on his appointment, Lord Lipsey said: “As an owner, and a supporter of greyhound racing, I am taking a part-time professional role within the sport I love. I look forward to representing it and its stakeholders to improve welfare, safeguard integrity and raise competition standards to industry-leading levels.
“Greyhound racing remains a hugely popular British tradition- on the latest figures the sixth-biggest spectator sport, welcoming millions of enthusiasts through its doors.
“Under the leadership of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB), it has established itself as both a great night out for younger audiences and fast-moving and absorbing off-course, digital entertainment. Premier Greyhound Racing believes that it has a huge potential both as a sport and a betting market, offering stakeholders a sustainable and commercially valuable product in the long term.”
Commenting on Lord Lipsey’s appointment, Richard Lang, Director of Commercial retail at Entain, speaking on behalf of Premier Greyhound Racing said: “Lord Lipsey brings a vast and varied experience both in and outside of the greyhound racing and betting industries, which will prove vital in unlocking the potential of the sport through the platform we will provide it with in Premier Greyhound Racing.
“Lord Lipsey is a lifelong supporter and advocate of greyhounds, the sport and its stakeholders and shares our commitment to invest in and raise welfare, integrity and racing standards.
“We look forward to working with Lord Lipsey to ensure British greyhound racing flourishes and enjoys a sustainable future, remaining a core product our customers enjoy for the long term, benefitting all stakeholders.”
Mark Bird, Chief Executive of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain commented on the appointment: “We welcome the appointment of Lord Lipsey as Chair of Premier Greyhound Racing, not only for his obvious industry knowledge, insight and experience but also for his welfare credentials.
“Having worked with him previously as part of the negotiations for an increase in the voluntary levy, I am delighted that he has taken up this position with a commitment to greyhound welfare.”