There is only one greyhound racetrack left in Iowa, the Iowa Greyhound Park in Dubuque. The track holds live races from May through October and held a total of 94 racing performances in 2015.1 As of December 2015, there were ten kennels at the track.2
Greyhound racing in Iowa is regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission which enforces pari-mutuel wagering rules. In 2014, a total of $5,323,955 was wagered on live greyhound racing in Iowa, a decline of 9% from the previous year.3
There are currently around sixty greyhound farms in Iowa.4 These breeders have historically received subsidies which have come from the state's gambling profits, amounting to almost $14 million annually.5 However, a $72 million casino buyout adopted in 2015 has eliminated this subsidy arrangement. Approximately half of the buyout will go to breeders and trainers affected by the closure of Council Bluffs in December 2015, distributed annually from 2016 to 2022; the other half will go toward the continued operation of the Iowa Greyhound Park for the same period of time.6
Thankfully, a portion of the funds will also be directed toward greyhound welfare and adoption and the dogs placed through local and national adoption networks.
“Video Replays: Iowa Greyhound Park,” trackinfo.com (accessed December 17, 2015).
“2015 Kennel Roster, The Iowa Greyhound Park, igaracing.com (accessed December 17, 2015).
“2012 Annual Report,” Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission,irgc.iowa.gov (accessed December 17, 2015).
Becca Habegger, “Iowa greyhound breeder fears for future,” KWWL TV News, January 21, 2014, kwwl.com (accessed December 17, 2015).
“The Register editorial: Time has come to end dog racing in Iowa,” Des Moines Register, February 22, 2014, desmoinesregister.com (accessed February 14, 2014).
“IRGC Meeting-Dubuque,” Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, September 24, 2015,irgc.iowa.gov (accessed December 17, 2015).