Friday, February 09, 2007

Friday Hound Blogging

We're coming to you today from the If Wishes Were Horses Beggars Would Ride Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central which is a wholly owned subsidy of the Corporation for Poor Planning, a division of the What Do We Know Company.

When Kansas voters approved wagering on horse and dog tracks in 1986, they were told it would be a big moneymaker for the state economy. Twenty years later, the amount of money bet on races has fallen to the point that the tracks don’t even generate enough in wagering taxes to cover the cost of the state to regulate them.

Ouch. How can this be Mr. overlord?

“In this day and age of instant gratification, doing mindless gambling is easier than studying a racing program,” Jim Gartland, a spokesman for The Woodlands Greyhound Track said. "Of course once you take into account that most of the people coming out here can't read anyway, it kind of puts a different spin on that whole 'mindless' thing."

Gartland said if the Legislature approved slots at the tracks it would help. "Well, it would help us," he added. "The dogs would be even worse off, but hey, we can always get more dogs."

Attendance at The Woodlands fell from 361,611 in 2004 to 328,109 in 2005, according to the Racing Commission’s last annual report. And Wichita Greyhound’s attendance dropped from 172,209 in 2004 to 157,644 in 2005. "Well, that doesn't count people who were coming to the track and got lost on the way," Gartland told reporters.

Gartland declined to speculate on how long the tracks can go on. In 2000, a track in Frontenac shut down. "We thought the people going there would come up here," Gartland said. "Turns out most of them still think that track is open and they're waiting for someone to come and open the gates."

Taxes from live and simulcast pari-mutuel wagering are expected to drop nearly 45 percent, from $2.2 million in fiscal year 2006 to $1.7 million in the fiscal year that starts July 1.Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has proposed using approximately $700,000 in Kansas Lottery funds that normally go to economic development projects to help make up the shortfall.

Hmmm...looks like "mindless" applies to more than just gamblers in Kansas, right Henry?

Henry is mild mannered, quiet, and gets along with everyone. He is content just to have a bone or rawhide to munch on. He is a bit of a big goof and will play silly outside when he gets spunky. He likes attention, but does not actively seek it out. He gave his foster mom a kiss on the nose recently. Most of the time he is like any other greyhound...a major couch potato! Henry would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 6 and up. He is good with other dogs of all sizes and is also good as an only dog. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Bongo Update: Bongo is finished with all his medical exams and procedures and has passed with flying colors. Now he just needs someone to offer him a spot on their couch.

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