Senate Gaming Committee hears request for ‘decoupling’

Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 12:50 PM.

TALLAHASSEE — Animal activists and greyhound tracks have common ground on dog racing.

The state Senate Gaming Committee heard testimony Monday from a nonprofit animal advocacy group, saying both sides support “decoupling” live races and card room licenses. Under state law, dog tracks must run 90 percent of the live races they did the year they received the card room license.

“While interest has plummeted in this particular activity, the number of races has remained the same,” said Carey Theil, executive director of GREY2K USA.

Theil said overall pari-mutuel wagering on live races is dying, but greyhounds will continue to be run in higher-than-demanded numbers if the law is not amended.

Theil said poker rooms are the primary moneymaker, but they also have dogs “running around in a circle” so poker will remain. For that reason, the greyhound advocates and dog tracks are singing the same tune on decoupling.

“It is a little bit like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to have the tracks on our side on that issue,” he said.

Theil said his organization supports greyhound decoupling because fewer races would be run and fewer dogs injured.



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