Greyhound betting and greyhound tracks in one way or another have been around since the 18th century. In the past, greyhound racing used to involve dogs running after a live game animal such as a hare or a rabbit. However, in 1876 things changed. Dogs no longer ran after live animals; instead, the artificial hare was introduced. In 1919, the first racetrack was built in Emeryville, California, which led to the rise in on-course gambling. The UK soon followed suit and just seven years later in 1926 they built their first oval racetrack, The Belle Vue Stadium. In 1927, another 40 racetracks were opened in cities around the UK.

Greyhound racing may not be quite as popular as it used to be - in 1946 there were 34 million paying spectators a year - but it is still classed as one of the most popular British sports and pastimes. Greyhound betting is also a highly popular way to heighten the excitement and (hopefully) earn strong returns. Below is a guide to greyhound betting and a list of some of the best racetracks in the UK.

Race Format

Stadiums vary in size and many stadiums are used for a variety of different reasons, but usually, the race format is similar across them all. You can normally watch between 10 and 14 races. Each race lasts approximately 10-15 minutes from start to finish. This includes getting the dogs ready to race and publishing the scores afterwards. If you are thinking of visiting a racecourse, then you should expect to spend between 3-4 hours there.

If you're wanting to bet on the greyhounds, but aren't keen on standing out in the cold, then why not consider online greyhound betting? This gives you the best of both worlds - the fun of betting and the comfort of doing it in your own home. You can find the latest information on greyhound betting here. Boyle Sports are the perfect choice for any person wanting to place a bet. Not only do they guarantee to offer you amazing odds, but they also have promotions available throughout the year.

Racing Tracks Facts

Over 3.2 million people watch greyhound racing every year, making it one of the most popular sports in Britain. Currently, there are 50 racetracks in the UK, which includes two in Scotland, 27 in England and one in Wales. Ireland also has its fair share with 19 in the Republic and two in the North. This means you've got a lot of choices when deciding which one to visit. There have been 143 regulated tracks and 256 independent tracks since 1926.

Just like with horse racing, the UK and Ireland have a strong relationship when it comes to greyhound racing. Approximately 80% of the dogs in the UK originate from Ireland.

Popular English Dog Tracks For Greyhound Betting

England is the home of greyhound racing both physically and spiritually. Whether you choose to attend a race in Sunderland, Harlow, Crayford or Hove, you won't be disappointed. Greyhound tracks are dotted around the country, but the most prestigious in England are:

Towcester - This is the most popular racetrack in the UK. It opened in 2014, making it the first track to be opened since 1995. This racecourse cost around 15 million to build.

Belle Vue - This was the first stadium to be built in the UK. The first race was hosted in July 1926. Belle Vue Stadium is home to some of the best competitions in the calendar, including the Laurels, the Scurry Gold Cup, the Oaks.

Romford - This is one of two racetracks situated in London. It is the perfect place for anyone who loves greyhound racing. It seats over 4300 people and has won a "Racecourse of the Year" award on two occasions. This racecourse also attempted to introduce cheetah racing in 1937. Romford is home to events like the Champion Stakes, Essex Vase and Golden Sprint.

Renowned Tracks In Ireland For Greyhound Betting

It is said that greyhound racing is more popular in Ireland than in the rest of the UK. Not only do they breed the majority of the dogs who race in the UK, but their number of stadiums per person are much higher - and they are continuing to build more. The best races in Ireland are the Northern Irish Derby and the Irish Greyhound Derby, but they also host the Champion Stakes, Cesarewitch, Laurels, Oaks and St. Leger. The most popular stadiums in Ireland are:

Shelbourne Park - Situated in South Dublin, this stadium was first opened in May 1927. It hosts the biggest race in Ireland - the Greyhound Derby - and, is now the largest racetrack in the country (since Celtic Park was knocked down and replaced by a shopping centre).

Drumbo Park - This racecourse is one of only two in the whole of Northern Ireland. Since being built in 2010, it has grown from strength to strength. Drumbo Park is home to the largest race in Northern Ireland - the Northern Irish Derby. This racecourse can accommodate around 1000 but only has 250 seats available.

Dundalk Stadium - This stadium is one of the most expensive tracks ever built - costing around 35million to build. It houses both greyhound racing and horse racing but has only become popular since 2003. Dundalk hosts one of the most important greyhound events in the calendar - the Dundalk International. This huge stadium is also home to the Irish Sprint Cup.

How Scotland and Wales Compare In The Greyhound Betting World

Scotland and Wales may not be as interested in greyhound racing as the English and Irish, but they still have an exciting and long history in the sport. They host amazing events such as the St Mungo Cup and the Scottish Greyhound Derby within their top stadiums, which are:

Shawfield Stadium - This is the last Greyhound Board of Great Britain track still running in Scotland. It has been a working track since 1932 and hosts both the Mungo Cup and the Scottish Greyhound Derby.

Thornton Stadium - Thornton Stadium first opened its doors in 1936. It is now one of only two tracks in Scotland and is located in Fife. This is an independent track.

Valley Greyhound Stadium - This is the only greyhound track in the whole of Wales. It is an independent track that is only open on Thursdays and Saturdays. The biggest cup here is the Glamorgan Cup.

Greyhound betting is still very popular in the UK, especially now that changes have taken place to make the races more humane. Events take place every day of the week, meaning you can fit it around your busy schedule. Why not consider checking out some of the popular race tracks we've mentioned above?