Citing a study that shows waning public interest and the expensive cost for casinos to "subsidize greyhound racing", reports indicate that casino giant Harrah's is willing to pay the state of Iowa $70 million to free them from an agreement that requires a set number of annual race dates
According to a story published in Friday's Des Moines Register, Harrah's two greyhound racinos - Council Bluffs and Dubuque - would pay the state a total of $10 million annually for seven years to end racing on July 1, 2010. Iowa agreed to save the state's dog tracks 16 years ago with the slots at racetracks agreement.
"It's an industry that does not have a lot of following," Rep. Mary Mascher, D-Iowa City, told The Register. "It doesn't make sense to subsidize something Iowans aren't interested in."
Interestingly, the article states breeding and raising of dogs in the state is on the upswing. Iowa ranked second in the U.S. with 2,390 registered Iowa-bred pups in 2008, significantly up from 1,229 in 2000.
"It's unfair to yank the rug out from beneath the dog breeders without their input and agreement," said Rep. Rick Olson. "There needs to be some type of golden parachute for them at a minimum."
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