Posted on: January 4, 2024, 07:23h.
Last updated on: January 4, 2024, 07:23h.
Sports Information Services (SIS), the racing industry content giant, quietly removed its greyhound simulcast operations from the US market at the end of last year. The company previously offered thousands of races a year to US operators from tracks in the UK, Ireland, and Mexico.
SIS is jointly owned by some of the biggest players in the UK betting industry, including William Hill, 888, Betfred, and Entain. Entain, the largest shareholder with a 23% stake, owns nine of the 20 licensed British greyhound tracks and the media rights for five independent tracks through its joint venture with Arena Racing.
Dog Days of Racing
The move represents another nail in the coffin for greyhound racing in the US. The sport is banned in 42 states, and only two venues, Wheeling Island Casino & Racetrack and Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in West Virginia, host live races.
Parimutuel venues that stopped offering live races but are still licensed for simulcast betting relied on SIS’s services for greyhound transmissions.
Michele Fischer, VP of SIS Content Services, explained to Casino.org that this was a simple economic decision. “As more US states ban betting on any greyhound product, there are not enough parimutuel operators able to sell the content to produce a profitable product. This is a very unfortunate situation.”
Campaign Group Welcomes News
Grey2K USA Worldwide, an organization campaigning for the end of greyhound racing, praised the decision, with their executive director Carey Thiel expressing optimism about the news.
Thiel told Casino.org, “One of the largest companies in the world that owns dog tracks has ended all greyhound simulcasting operations in the US. That’s huge. Across America, remote gambling on dog racing is being prohibited. We are sending a clear message that the US market will not be used to prop up the cruelty of greyhound racing.”
Fisher stated that SIS remains committed to the US market, particularly with its esports product which has recently launched in New Jersey, Colorado, and Kentucky, with plans to expand to more states this quarter. In addition, SIS plans to offer its horse racing portfolio to Colorado sports books as a fixed odds product, and sell parimutuel horse racing content from Australia and the Middle East to US operators in 2024.