Florida greyhound tracks losing in the millions each year

Typically, businesses that are losing millions of dollars each year eventually get the picture. The reality has been slow to catch on in greyhound racing, partly because in too many cases it gets state government protection.

A Broward Palm Beach New Times blogger offers some of the losing numbers at two Florida tracks, in an entry posted Friday. The Mardi Gras track in Hallandale Beach will lose $2.5 million this year and the Flagler track in Miami has been in the red at a pace of $2 million each year.

In the post, Michael J. Mooney notes the president of the Mardi Gras Racetrack and Gaming Center helped craft the very law that makes dog racing mandatory in the state. Wasn’t that convenient?

Mooney writes – ” To have people inside gambling, casinos must have dogs outside racing, every day.”

This is really an all to under-reported facet of the industry. Thankfully, we are seeing this come to light in news stories of late. People need to know that states like Florida are not only looking the way to allow this cruel industry to continue to operate, but the state has actually been doing everything it can to keep it going.

And if Mooney’s reporting is right, Florida went one step beyond. The state let an industry insider write the law.

But he also reports on a trend that suggests maybe the handwriting on the wall is beginning to sink in and maybe these facilities are moving in the direction of keeping the gambling machines and dropping the cruelty.


5 responses to this post.

  1. Michael Mooney was not terribly bright nor foreward thinking was he. All to the detriment of the greyhounds. For his participation in the law he helped craft, I hope he loses all. I hate to be that way, but the greyhounds matter more.


    • Posted by Tom Grady on March 5, 2011 at 5:49 pm

      This strategy was so backward, in Florida and elsewhere.
      There’s this dying industry and instead of replacing it with a less-cruel system of gambling, the parties involved decided to add the more popular games. Did they really think people would come in to gamble on the slots or other games, see the races and decide – “Oh, I forgot I could gamble on the cruelty of racing.”
      No – they are going to come in to play the other games. It wasn’t going to help racing, it was only to help the casino side of the facilities.
      If a store is carrying a line of products that don’t sell and decides to add a product that does sell, it is not going to make people buy something they don’t want – the old product they didn’t want in the first place.
      I can’t believe the elected officials who voted for this or those who proposed it could ever pass a basic-level course in economics or business management.


  2. Unfortunately, the current odds seem to be against ending the mandate for casinos to subsidize greyhound racetracks. Part of the problem is that in 2010 Florida elected as governor a former top executive for a criminally corrupt insurance company, one hit with the largest fine in history for defrauding taxpayers out of millions. This is not the sort of person you’d expect to show much integrity or compassion.


  3. Posted by Noreen Marshall on March 5, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    WONDERFUL NEWS – maybe this means this track will shut their doors for good. Nothing would make my husband and I happier than to see all greyhound race tracks closed for good.


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