TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – A pair of state legislators are trying to drum up support for their bills which would eliminate the requirement that dog tracks off live racing.

As expected the measures have been met with heavy opposition by the Greyhound racing industry.

Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, and Rep. Dana Young, R-Tampa, held a news conference to build support for SB 382 and HB 641. They said the House and Senate approved similar proposals last year but could not reach agreement on a final bill.

Under the bills, tracks could continue to offer other types of gambling, such as card rooms, without a requirement that they run a minimum amount of greyhound races.

“We need to remove these mandates,” Young said. “We need to stop propping up the greyhound-racing industry.”

But Jack Cory, a lobbyist for the Florida Greyhound Association, which represents greyhound breeders and owners, said the proposal would kill jobs in the industry.

“It’s a jobs issue,” Cory said, “It’s got nothing to do with anything else.”

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

Comments (6)
  1. Felix El Gato says:

    I prefer dead greyhound races, anyway.

  2. Fred Barton says:

    This is the classic win – win – win situation. Track owners get out from under the money losing proposition that is greyhound racing, the state quits subsidizing a red ink industry, and the greyhounds get a chance to live longer than they can make money for those exploiting them. Let’s do it!

  3. Caryn Wood says:

    Since 1990, the amount of taxes and fees the State of Florida receives from live greyhound races has decreased by 96.5%. This reflects public opinion. Yet, living, breathing, loving, gentle greyhounds are captive pawns in a scenario which exists under an antiquated mandate that requires live dog racing.

    SB382 and HB641 will change that requirement by “decoupling” mandatory live greyhound race dates while permitting the tracks to continue offering other forms of gambling.

    These humane and business-conscious bills are in sync with mainstream values. Thank you Senator Sachs and House Representative Young.

  4. Nancy says:

    It truly is not a “jobs issue”. It is an issue about an industry that is losing favor and popularity and is being subsidized by the state to remain operating, draining funds from the state that should be going to far less objectionable areas. Like schools, law enforecement, etc.

    Forcing x number of races at the tracks is ridiculously outdated. Racing is an industry, at least in their mind. If that is the case, then operate under the same market conditions and expectations as all other industries.

    If a track wants to continue holding races, then it will. And if they don’t want to continue racing, the state should not force them to do so.

    Kudos to Sen. Sachs and Rep. Young for introducing SB382 and HB641!

  5. Dan Raidt says:

    Way Way over due

  6. Matt Binder says:

    It’s incredibly simple: Greyhound race coupling costs the taxpayers money, costs the cardhouses money, and forces more greyhounds to live horrific lives right up until they’re killed.

    There is every reason to pass the decoupling bill. I hope my congressman, and Florida as a whole, makes the fiscal and moral choice.

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