Ebro, other Florida tracks see lower revenue, attendance

Published: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 17:11 PM.

EBRO — Betting on live greyhound racing at the Ebro track has taken a nosedive in the last seven years.

Revenue at Ebro fell by 70 percent during that time and 9.6 percent in the most recent fiscal year, according to numbers released by the state.

But the local track is not alone in its fiscal woes. Across Florida, live greyhound betting revenue fell by 5.8 percent last year, according to data compiled by GREY2K USA, a national nonprofit group opposed to dog racing. And across the country, the situation is no better.

“There’s no question. Nationally, greyhound racing has declined for 19 consecutive years,” said Carey Theil, executive director of GREY2K USA. “And we’ve seen a steady decline in Florida, and I think this is simply an activity that has lost interest with the public.”

In Florida, live greyhound betting fell from $101.2 million in fiscal year 2011-12 down to $95.4 million in fiscal year 2012-13. In Ebro, live greyhound betting fell from $1.9 million in fiscal year 2011-12 to $1.7 million in fiscal year 2012-13, according to state numbers.

At the Ebro track, a reduction in racing days led to the decline in revenue, said Stockton Hess, the track’s president and general manager. Casinos in Biloxi, Miss., also continue to siphon off the Panhandle’s gaming revenue, and there’s also a waning interest in dog racing, he said.

Card room decline



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