Greyhound Racing in West Virginia | GREY2K USA Worldwide

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Learn about our new campaign to end dog racing

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

  1. West Virginia Racing Commission Annual Report 2017, West Virginia Racing Commission, 2018, (accessed January 15, 2020).
  2. "Evening Performance Program,” Mardi Gras Casino & Resort, July 22, 2013, (accessed July 22, 2013); W. Va. C.S.R §178-2-26.2.a ; Zack Harold, “Debate over number of races at Wheeling casino continues,” Charleston Daily Mail, February 13, 2013, (accessed February 14, 2014).
  3. Hoppy Kercheval. “Dog racing in West Virginia is fading fast down the stretch,” Metro News, December 17, 2018, (accessed July 31, 2019).
  4. Phil Kabler, “Funding allotment for greyhound training tracks questioned,” The Charleston Gazette, September 28, 2009, (accessed November 15, 2017).
  5. Joel Ebert, “More than $77 million in subsidies paid out to breeders since 2002, records show,” Charleston Daily Mail, June 28, 2015, (accessed November 15, 2017).
  6. John McVey, "Accord reached on House Bill 4333," The Journal, March 14, 2014, (accessed November 15, 2017).
  7. West Virginia Racing Commission Annual Report 2017, West Virginia Racing Commission, 2018, (accessed January 14, 2020).

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