There are two greyhound tracks in West Virginia, Wheeling Island Casino & Racetrack and Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in Cross Lanes. Races are conducted year-round at both facilities, with a total of 518 race meets held in 2017.1 As of 2013, there were between 1,400 and 1,800 greyhounds kept confined at the tracks' kennel compounds.2
Every year greyhound breeders in West Virginia receive roughly $15 million in subsidies, funds that could otherwise be used for vital state programs like fixing our roads or substance abuse treatment.3 Senate Bill 285 will end these subsidies, and also eliminate a state mandate that forces gambling facilities to hold dog races in order to offer other types of betting. This humane measure features a $3 million dollar worker retraining fund, a $1 million greyhound adoption fund plus a $500 personal tax credit to any state resident who adopts a West Virginia greyhound! Listen to our new radio ad and learn more here.
The dogs racing at the state's two dog tracks are bred both in and out of state. According to the President of the West Virginia Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association, close to 1,000 greyhounds are whelped in West Virginia annually.4 The breeders of West Virginia-bred greyhounds receive subsidies that come from the state's gambling profits. Since 2002, breeders have received over $77 million through the Greyhound Breeding Development Fund.5 In March 2014, lawmakers voted to permanently reduce such subsidies by ten percent.6
The West Virginia Racing Commission regulates greyhound racing in the state and enforces the Rules of Racing.
In 2017, the total amount wagered on live greyhound racing in the state was $13,581,206, a decline of 34 percent from 2010.7