Greyhound racing

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Greyhound racing is the sport of racing greyhounds. The dogs chase a lure (traditionally an artificial hare or rabbit) on a track until they arrive at the finish line. The one that arrives first is the winner.

In many countries, greyhound racing is purely amateur and conducted for enjoyment. In other countries (particularly the UK, US, Ireland, Australia, Spain, China and Mexico), greyhound racing is part of the gambling business, similar to although far less profitable than horse racing. There is some popular concern in the aforementioned countries regarding the well-being of the dogs; the effectiveness of industry efforts to address these concerns is a topic of some debate. A greyhound adoption movement has arisen to assist retired racing dogs in finding homes as pets.

"Live racing is a money-loser." Owners don't have much incentive to refurbish the aging trackside of the dog-racing business when they can put that money into the more-lucrative casinos. By the end of 2010, casinos are more profitable. Dog racing has been in decline for 20 years. In Florida, where 16 tracks survive, the handle, or amount wagered, on racing has dropped from about $620 million to $300 million in 10 years.[1]

Contents

History

Modern greyhound racing has its origins in coursing. The first recorded attempt at racing greyhounds on a straight track was made beside the Welsh Harp reservoir, Hendon in 1876, but this experiment did not develop. The sport emerged in its recognizable modern form, featuring circular or oval tracks, with the invention of the mechanical or artificial hare in 1912 by Owen Patrick Smith. O.P. Smith had altruistic aims for the sport to stop the killing of the jack rabbits and see "greyhound racing as we see horse racing". The certificates system led the way to parimutuel betting, as quarry and on-course gambling, in the United States during the 1920s.

In 1926, armed with the Smith patents and a hand shake, it was introduced to Britain by an American, Charles Munn, in association with Major Lyne-Dixon, a key figure in coursing, and a Canadian, Brigadier-General Critchley. The deal went sour with Smith never hearing from Munn again. Like the American 'International Greyhound Racing Association' (or the In.G.R.A.), Munn and Critchley launched the Greyhound Racing Association, and held the first British meeting at Manchester's Belle Vue Stadium. The sport was successful in cities and towns throughout the U.K. - by the end of 1927, there were forty tracks operating.

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