Proposal to Close Iowa’s Greyhound Tracks Advances in State Senate

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Despite objections from those who refer to it as a ‘job killer’, Senate Study Bill 1064 moved ahead Wednesday in the Iowa Senate. If it passes, the bill would require Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs and Mystique Casino in Dubuque to pay the state treasury $70 million over the next seven years as what is being referred to as a “re-licensing fee.” Both are currently required to offer greyhound racing in order to have casinos in the state. The payments would free the casinos from having to maintain dog tracks in order to stay open for business.

As is often the case when Greyhound racing is debated, those on both sides of the issue had strong feelings about the proposed legislation.

“I’m going to summarize this to say in 40 years I’ve never seen the general assembly set out to kill 1,000 jobs,” said Don Avenson, a Republican lobbyist for the Iowa Greyhound Association. “That’s what this bill does. And this was supposed to be a session to create jobs.”

Jim Carney, a lobbyist for Ceasars Entertainment (owner the Horseshoe Casino) quoted information from the Association of Racing Commissioners International that demonstrates a decline in wagering for live greyhound racing in Iowa – from $120.6 million in 1991 to just $6.22 million last year.

“Dog racing is matter of fact dead,” Carney told the Senate. “The only thing sustaining it here is this pool that we have to pay of which over 40 percent is going to out of state dog owners.”

Sen. Wally Horn, D-Cedar Rapids, voted in favor of the bill, saying he wants to do “what’s fair and right.”

This is the third year that casino lobbyists have attempted to have the Greyhound racing requirement stricken from current law. The proposal was approved in a three-person subcommittee meeting, and now advances to the full committee for consideration.

10 thoughts on “Proposal to Close Iowa’s Greyhound Tracks Advances in State Senate”

    • “Those sweet dogs” will cease to exist. The NGA (Racing) greyhound is a breed all to itself and completely different than the AKC greyhound. As you gloat over the demise of greyhound racing, please tell me how YOU are going to help maintain the breed and keep it from extinction.

      • EXACTLY….Cease to exist is all part of the HSUS’s master plan. Animals that don’t exist cannot be used or abused by humans.

        Therefore, no animals, no racing greyhounds. End of story.

  1. If the track closes just what do you think will happen to the dogs?

    Can anyone afford to keep a kennel of racing greyhounds that don’t race?

    Not likely.

  2. To Kat…”these sweet dogs” will no longer exist w/out greyhound racing. The greyhound as we know it will become extinct.
    FYI…the reason they are so sweet is because somebody loved them BEFORE they ever became pets. Why does no one realize that?

    • “rescueing” and placing in pet homes is not an option for the long term. These dogs are bred to be athletes, not couch potatoes. The Greyhound people pretty much keep these dogs to themselves. There are very few that are let go to rescue groups. Even so, this is a lot more dog than most pet people are willing to deal with. Making couch potatoes out of them would be a horrid but certain end for the breed.


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