The death of greyhound racing | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The death of greyhound racing

Posted By on Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 11:17 AM

A DYING SPORT: Greyhound racing, such as here at Southland Park, is waning.
  • A DYING SPORT: Greyhound racing, such as here at Southland Park, is waning.

The New York Times reports today on a gambling development directly relevant to Arkansas.

After a decade in which more than half the greyhound tracks in the country have closed, many of the remaining operations have survived thanks to the model used at Bluffs Run. Over the years, the tracks, which were there first, won permission from states to add slot machines and poker tables under the condition that a chunk of the profits go to the dog races — essentially subsidizing one form of gambling with another.

Now, after years defending greyhound racing against attacks that it is inhumane, a growing number of track owners are, to the astonishment of opponents and the dismay of fans, joining the critics among the animal rights groups. Complaining that they are being forced to spend millions of dollars a year to subsidize a pastime that the public has all but abandoned, greyhound track owners in Iowa, Florida and Arizona have been lobbying for changes in the law that would allow them to cut the number of races, or even shut down their tracks, while keeping their far more lucrative gambling operations running.

In short, greyhound racing has gone to the dogs. There's no money to be made there. There's money to be made in casino gambling. Both Southland Park in West Memphis, a greyhound track, and Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, a horse track, are raking in casino gambling dollars under the pretense that they are offering electronic games of skill. These games look a whole lot like slot machines, blackjack tables and poker tables.

As Arkansas law now stands, the casino games are only allowed at the tracks, which must have live racing. You have to wonder, though, if — more like when — Southland someday won't join others in the industry seeking less dog racing, or none at all. Southland took in $1.31 billion in casino wagering in 2011. It paid out about $1.23 billion in winnings. That left about $80 million for profit and overhead, including taxes.

Horse racing, by the way, seems to have retained more popularity than dog racing, though it has declined in attendance as well as fans seek the faster action of increasingly easy-to-find casinos.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (13)

Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Sunday and another open line

    Got anything for the open line?
    • Jul 23, 2017
  • But what about the Clintons? Last refuge of Trump, New York Times

    Trying to compare Donald Trump's reaction to the Russia investigation with Bill Clinton's dealings with Kenneth Starr should be a non-starter if the facts mattered. But these days — and to the New York Times — it ain't necessarily so.
    • Jul 23, 2017
  • Football is king, Bentonville edition

    Good analysis in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette of an unannounced Bentonville School Board vote last week to put $2 million into a football stadium for West High School despite board assurances in last May's tax election that no money would go to a football stadium.
    • Jul 23, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016
  • Today in Trump: Obstruction of justice anyone?

    It's the New York Times with the news today. Fired FBI Director James Comey kept notes of his talks with Donald Trump. A memo he wrote in February after a meeting with Trump said the president asked him to shut down the investigation into Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Charter school accountability: Non-existent in Arkansas

    A state audit finds charter school spending violated state law, but the state Education Department says it has no responsibility for ensuring proper management of charter schools. Say what?
    • Mar 5, 2016

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Sunday and another open line

    • In re Scaramucci and SweetSweetSarah, she of the Friday tangled curls and fake half-lashes, Scaramucci…

    • on July 23, 2017
  • Re: What's your Big Idea for Arkansas?

    • Do you need an urgent loan asap? Have you been scammed before by Africans? Do…

    • on July 23, 2017
  • Re: Sunday and another open line

    • "a physical attack on Charles Murray" Well, it was probably perpetrated by those at the…

    • on July 23, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation