Lord David Lipsey has been appointed as Chair of Premier Greyhound Racing – a company which looks to promote the sport as a betting medium to drive revenues for operators.
Lipsey returns to the sport following his four-year spell as Chair of the then-named British Greyhound Racing Board (BGRB) between 2004 and 2008, now the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB).
The group, which is a newly-launched joint venture between Entain and Arena Racing Company, looks to provide ‘best serving’ to racegoers, owners and trainers by delivering increased welfare standards and investment.
Richard Lang, Director of Commercial Retail at Entain, speaking on behalf of Premier Greyhound Racing, commented: “Lord Lipsey will prove vital in unlocking the potential of the sport through the platform we will provide it with in Premier Greyhound Racing.
“He 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.”
Described as a greyhound racing enthusiast for almost half a century, Lipsey has owned several racing greyhounds and two greyhounds, as well as his involvement with running the sport he was a trustee of the Retired Greyhound Trust (now Greyhound Trust).
On his appointment, Lipsey explained: “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.”
Around five years ago he was called in by Sports Minister Tracey Crouch to negotiate a new deal between Greyhound Racing and bookmakers which saw a £2 million annual boost to the sport’s finances, by working with digital operators to secure their contributions to the levy scheme.
Lipsey continued: “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.”
Overall, Lord Lipsey brings a ‘wide-ranging set’ of chairing and directorship experiences to the role, covering entertainment, regulatory affairs, the betting and racing industries.
He is also currently a member of the board of horse racing’s Starting Price Regulatory Commission.