Good news for those of us who detest greyhound racing. Massachusetts voters banned the sport in their state as of January 1. This ends 75 years of greyhound racing in Massachusetts. However, the news is not all good because greyhound racing exists at 23 tracks in 7 states; 13 of them are in Florida, according to GREY2K USA, a national, non-profit organization working to close down existing greyhound racetracks.
When GREY2K USA began in 2001, there were 49 tracks in 15 states. GREY2K USA also offers adoption referral information to help the thousands of dogs still racing.
“I just thank Massachusetts voters for giving greyhounds a second chance,” says Christine A. Dorchak, president of GREY2K USA.
Many of the dogs who raced at these MA tracks will be put up for adoption through GREY2K USA. However, the fight is not over. Some of the dogs will move to other race tracks. Another issue is what will happen to these two racing tracks.
Slot Machines and Simulcasts
Dog track promoters often lobby for the right to install slot machines and other electronic gambling devices at former greyhound racing tracks, as in the case here in MA. The problem with bringing slot machines and other gambling to former dog racing tracks is the tie in with simulcasts. Simulcasts of greyhound racing events are often brought into the mix so gamblers can place bets. According to GREY2K USA, dog track promoters always argue for the legalization of slot machines as a way to save commercial dog racing.
Within the past two decades, commercial dog racing represents less than 1 percent of all wagers made each year in the U.S. So by tying slot machines and other gambling with simulcasts of greyhound racing, the sport continues.
Greyhound Racing: A Dying Business
While I have no problem with casino games, I detest greyhound racing. It’s simply wrong. The dogs who race live in warehouse-style kennels, confined for long hours each day in cages barely large enough for them to turn around in. Plus, thousands of dogs are seriously injured while racing, and those who can no longer compete are often killed.
How You Can Help
If you are reading this post, there’s a strong likelihood that you won’t patronize a greyhound racetrack or bet on simulcasts. However, you can educate others.
1. Encourage your friends and family to boycott greyhound racing and betting.
2. Contact organizations like GREY2K USA to volunteer your time or donate money.
3. If you live in a state with greyhound racing or simulcasts, write and call your state legislators, and let them know of your opposition to this sport.
4. If you have room in your home, you can adopt a greyhound.
5. Share this post with others.