West Virginia against dog racing

West Virginia legislators approved yesterday a gaming restriction to stop greyhound racings in local casinos and venues.

US.- The West Virginia Senate approved yesterday a controversial measure that prohibits greyhound racing at local casinos and gaming centres. The vote resulted in a narrow agreement that will stop the Greyhound Breeding Development Fund, West Virginia’s annual subsidy of US$15 million to the racing operating companies.

The latest decision SB 437 will allow gaming services at Wheeling Island Casino and Mardi Gras Casino in Nitro, but without the Greyhound Breeding Development Fund, operators will not be able to deliver the traditional racing offerings. The companies expressed their disagreement with the measure and will apparently fight it through legal sources.

“I can’t go home with a clear conscience and look at my constituents in the eye and tell them that I’m going to subsidise a sporting, gambling event instead of trying to make whole public education, higher education, the sick and the elderly,” explained Senator Dave Spoilt (R-Preston). The bill was approved by 19-15.

On the other hand, opponents to the Senate’s measure affirmed that the ending of greyhound racing activities would lead to major financial loss and the elimination of 1,700 job positions. Meanwhile, as it was approved yesterday, the West Virginia Excess Lottery Revenue Fund will receive now the state’s transfer. Furthermore, SB 437 will invest US$1 million for the promotion of responsible dog adoption of greyhounds.

“This is a simple choice. It’s the dogs or your kids. It’s the dogs or your mom and dad. It’s the dogs or somebody who needs medical help but won’t get it because we didn’t cut the dogs,” concluded Senator Robert Kearns (R-Upsurge).