On January 4, 2024, Sports Information Services (SIS) made the decision to quietly withdraw its greyhound simulcast operations from the U.S. market at the end of last year. The company had been providing thousands of races a year to U.S. operators from tracks in the UK. SIS is jointly owned by some of the biggest players in the UK betting industry, including William Hill, 888, Betfred, and Entain, with Entain being the largest shareholder with a 23% stake. Entain also owns nine of the 20 licensed British greyhound tracks and the media rights for five independent tracks through its joint venture with Arena Racing.
This move represents another setback for greyhound racing in the U.S., with the sport being banned in 42 states. Live racing is now only taking place at two venues, Wheeling Island Casino & Racetrack and Mardi Gras Casino & Resort, both located in West Virginia. Michele Fischer, VP of SIS Content Services, explained that the decision was an economic one, as more U.S. states ban betting on any greyhound product, making it difficult for pari-mutuel operators to sell the content and produce a profitable product.
Despite this setback for the racing industry, the campaign group Grey2K USA Worldwide welcomed the news, expressing hope that the end of greyhound racing is near. The organization’s executive director, Carey Thiel, sees this as a positive step in the fight against the cruelty of greyhound racing.
Fischer assured that SIS remains committed to the U.S. market, but not for greyhound racing. The company has recently launched its esports product in New Jersey, Colorado, and Kentucky, and plans to expand into more states pending regulator approval. Additionally, SIS also plans to offer its horse racing portfolio in Colorado as a fixed odds product, following the state’s new sports betting laws. The company continues to distribute greyhound racing from the UK, Ireland, and Mexico to operators for fixed odds betting in territories where it is permitted.