This legislation will use casino gambling profits to create an endless stream of state subsidies for dog racing, a private business that has already failed economically. This goes against the free market, and is a policy that has repeatedly failed in other states. This dangerous proposal will also subsidize greyhound racing, an activity that is cruel and inhumane and is outlawed in 40 states.
Commercial greyhound racing began in Kansas in 1989, with the opening of two dog tracks; Wichita Greyhound Park and The Woodlands.1 A third track, Camptown Greyhound Park, opened in 1995 but closed just six months later.2 All three tracks experienced significant financial losses and, as a result, live greyhound racing ended in the state by August 2008.3
This policy has failed in every state that has adopted it. Four states attempted to revive dog racing with this slot machine subsidy scheme: Rhode Island, Iowa, West Virginia and Florida. In every case, gambling on dog racing has only decreased further, leading lawmakers to later reconsider the policy altogether. The Rhode Island and Iowa legislatures have already repealed these greyhound subsidies outright, allowing dog racing to end. Similar legislation is now being considered in West Virginia and Florida. Why should state government subsidize a failing business model? What other entertainment type business will line up in Topeka for this type of hand out?
When dog racing existed in Kansas, greyhounds routinely suffered serious injuries. In 2007, there were 205 reported greyhound injuries at The Woodlands and Wichita Greyhound Park.4 In the last six-month season at the Woodlands, eighty dogs were injured.5 The majority of injuries were broken legs. Other injuries included sprains, torn muscles, and a spinal injury. Nineteen dogs were euthanized or died while racing.6