By the end of 2022, there will be only two greyhound tracks left in all of the United States. At its peak in the 1980s, there were more than 50 tracks across 19 states. Since then, growing concerns about the dogs’ treatment and the rapid expansion of gambling options has nearly killed the sport.
According to the racing association, betting on greyhounds plunged from US$3.5 billion in 1991 to about $500 million in 2014. Many tracks have closed within that time frame. In Florida, it was voters initiatives that ended the sport at the state’s dozen tracks. The Dubuque track is set to close and end racing in West Memphis, Arkansas.
West Virginia will be the only state having greyhound racing this December. They have tracks in Wheeling and near Charleston that operate with subsidies from casino revenue. For some animal welfare groups, the industry’s decline has been the culmination of decades of work.
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