Dog tracks struggle to make profit

Published: Monday, November 18, 2013 at 02:25 PM.

The slots “would fund it. That’s the only thing that would fund it,” he said.

The spinning slot wheels are viewed as the industry’s saving grace. Only the Flagler Dog Track in South Florida has slot machines, but it serves as a shining hope for all the tracks without them. Between fiscal years 2009-10 and 2011-2012, Flagler posted a $38.2 million profit just from slots.

Though Flagler lost nearly $10 million on greyhounds, it posted the second highest profits of any dog track in the state during those years, due to its slots and card room.

 

Greyhounds racing

The anvil around Ebro’s neck — and every pari-mutuel track in Florida — is a state law requiring a minimum number of races be run to operate a card room. Ebro must hold 167 performances — there are eight live races in a performance — to maintain its card room.

But unlike the cash-cow card room, dog races have been a losing venture for years. Between 2009 and 2012, Ebro lost $10.1 million on the greyhounds, which Hess described as an “on-paper” loss. He said poker is supporting racing at every track in the state.



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