Greyhound racing coming to an end in Arkansas
The waning popularity of greyhound racing in the United States has reportedly claimed another victim following news that eastern Arkansas’ Southland Casino Racing is to cease offering such contests from the end of 2022.
According to a Thursday report from the Memphis Business Journal newspaper, the 63-year-old venue is to reduce the number of greyhound races it hosts by 25% next year to 4,992 before cutting this number by a further 20% in 2021 to some 3,994. The ensuing year is to purportedly see the West Memphis facility hold only 2,662 such contests in advance of bringing an end to live dog racing in Arkansas as 2023 dawns.
The newspaper reported that the decision to wrap up greyhound racing in Arkansas was unanimously approved by the 16-member Arkansas Greyhound Kennel Association as part of the organization’s discussions as to whether it should be seeking to extend its soon-to-expire contract with Southland Casino Racing. But, the Marion-headquartered group purportedly opted for a phased closure citing a current national climate that has forced the shuttering of numerous other tracks.
The Memphis Business Journal reported that Southland
David Wolf, President and General Manager for Southland, told the newspaper that the decision to conduct a phased end to greyhound racing will provide the Arkansas Greyhound Kennel Association with ‘certainty and clarity for the future’ while additionally allowing his own facility to conclude ‘live racing via an orderly process and on our own terms.’
Wolf told the Memphis Business Journal…
“We know it’s going to take time to adopt out the greyhounds and our commitment is to make sure every greyhound that has raced at Southland Casino Racing finds its forever home.”
Some 600 miles to the north and the man behind the Iowa
However, Carpenter reportedly declared that his facility receives financial support from Iowa’s Diamond Jo Casino Worth and Q Casino and Hotel and is planning to continue holding greyhound races into 2022.
Carpenter reportedly told KCRG-TV…
“This will be my 36th year of greyhound racing and it will be sad to see when it goes. It was something fun and interesting to see. As of now, we are still planning on opening up next year and hopefully for the next three more years at least.”