GREYHOUND WELFARE activists were delighted with the news last month that betting on Greyhound Racing in Sweden has been ended, thanks to a lobbying campaign to a leading betting chain in Sweden.
For several years Swedes have been able to bet on greyhound racing through an organisation called Svenska Spel (Swedish Gaming), which is organised and licensed by the Swedish government. This not only allows them to bet on races at the three tracks in Sweden, but also on races at certain tracks in Britain.
However, due to lack of interest amongst Swedish people in betting on greyhound racing, Svenska Spel have decided to withdraw this service at the end of this year.
However, Svenska Hundkapplöpningssportens Centralförbund (The Swedish Greyhound Racing Federation) had been trying to reach an agreement with a betting shop company ATG – already heavily involved with horse race gambling - to accept bets on greyhound racing and thus fill the void vacated by Svenska Spel.
The leading Greyhound welfare organisation, Greyhound Action UK urged its supporters to lobby ATG and ask them not to accept bets on greyhound racing. However, it would appear that ATG had given into pressure from the campaigners and decided not to take up the greyhound gambling option. An English translation of the reply that ATG sent to some of Greyhound Action’s Swedish supporters who contacted them bears this out:
"ATG has a licence issued by the government to arrange betting on horses. Our mission is to create and keep a good long-term financial development for the sport of horse racing all over the country. Betting on dogs is something we don't have a licence to do and we have no future plans to arrange or supply betting on dog racing."
Tony Peters of Greyhound Action UK told OUR DOGS: "It does seem from this that Svenska Hundkapplöpningssportens Centralförbund have failed to persuade ATG to accept bets on greyhound racing and we hope that this will mean an end to the Swedish dog racing industry.
"We will however, keep the situation closely monitored, and act swiftly to oppose any renewed efforts to reinstate betting on the dogs in Sweden."