Today I am writing to ask you to help enforce the Greyhound Protection Act of Massachusetts. Starting in the late 1990's, many of us worked tirelessly to pass a ban on dog racing. We went to the ballot and passed Question 3 of 2008, which prohibited "any form of betting and wagering" on greyhounds. The measure was overwhelmingly approved by a statewide margin of 56-44%.
Pursuant to a gradual phase-out that allowed greyhounds to be made available for adoption, the last greyhound races were held at Wonderland Greyhound Park on September 18 and at Raynham on December 19, 2009. Hundreds of lucky dogs were given their second chance at a normal life.
Meanwhile, perhaps to give the former dog tracks an opportunity to apply for casino licenses, lawmakers extended the deadline for ending simulcast wagering on greyhounds. ("Simulcast" refers to bets placed off site while the live race is taking place elsewhere). In effect, one or both dog tracks would be allowed to say open, temporarily, as OTB outlets for races occuring in the seven states where greyhound racing is still legal.
It is time for this temporary extension to end and for the will of the voters to be heard! It is wrong for our tracks to be taking bets on greyhounds suffering injuries and sometimes dying while racing in Florida, Arizona or in any other state that still allows gentle greyhounds to be used and abused for profit. For example, at the Sanford-Orlando dog track in just one month, four greyhounds were recently killed while racing.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has been charged with implementing the new rules for casino gambling in the Commonwealth, and part of its purview involves a recommendation on simulcast wagering. We wrote to the Commission this summer, asking it to enforce the law and now the greyhounds need your help, too!
Read our letter here.
Please send an e-mail to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission at email@example.com now. Ask the Commission to honor the will of the voters and recommend to the legislature that simulcast wagering on greyhounds finally end. Remind them that at dog tracks nationwide greyhounds are kept confined in small cages which are barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around, for an average of 20 hours per day. This is no way to treat a dog!
Important: Public comments will only be received until Wednesday (tomorrow) at 2 pm and all e-mails must have the subject line "Pari-Mutuel and Simulcast Law" in order to be read.
For extra credit, please also contact Governor Deval Patrick and ask him to enforce the Greyhound Protection Act as well. The Governor may be reached through his official web site here.
Let's remind officials that the will of the voters must honored. Please act now!
Christine A. Dorchak, Esq.
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