States like Florida and Iowa are all, "No problem dude, We like pouring money down a rat hole." But Arizona said "Go race as many times as you want. We don't care." And the one remaining operating track in the state immediately cut its racing days, and will probably cut them further next year. We're guessing that's not what the overlords had in mind.
Now Arkansas is wondering if maybe the invisible hand of the free market might by coming upside its head when it comes to greyhound racing.
Arkansas law requires that electronic gaming be located only at racetracks, which is why gamblers have to go to the Oaklawn horse track in Hot Springs or Southland to play Caribbean Stud or Girls Just Want to Have Fun. The greyhounds bring in miniscule profits compared to the electronic games, but theirs are the tails that wag the business, and what a business Southland is: From January to April this year, $607.7 million was wagered, $173.7 million in February alone, on the electric games of skill (EGS). After a payout of $1.23 billion in winnings in 2011, its net in 2011 was $80 million. Compare that to the handle on the dog track: $19 million for all of 2011.OK, we're not economists or anything, but when one part of your operation in one month takes in almost ten times as much dough as the other part of your operation takes in all year, that's probably not a good thing, right Troy Keeping, Southland's president and general manager?
Southland is bucking a national trend, Keeping said, describing its track as a "very viable, profitable racing business."Now, before you think Mr. Keeping may be a tad delusional, think about this: The "national trend" with greyhound racing tracks is to close up entirely, so the fact that his track is still open is "bucking" that trend. Way to see the bright side, Dr. Pangloss...er...we mean Mr. Keeping.
Oh, and in case you're thinking that nobody coming out to the track, no money coming in and a bleak future might be putting the greyhounds in more danger, well, think again, right Rachel Hogue?
Rachel Hogue, 25, of Memphis, a greyhound owner, assistant trainer and professional photographer. Hogue's degree is in animal science. Does she think the dogs are mistreated? "I wouldn't be here if I did," she insisted. Still, a dog that Hogue had been hosing down after a race collapsed on its back legs when she brought it close for the photographer to get a look. Hogue said the dog was tired and needed more cooling; another trainer quickly took the dog back to the hosing area.Hey, no problem there Ms. Hogue. A greyhound race takes what, 30, 40 seconds? What highly trained, well cared for elite athlete wouldn't collapse afterwards huh? Happens all the time, we're sure. But as long as we're on the subject, what about those pesky injury reports that keep popping up?
She maintains that the injury rate at the track is "less than 10 percent," and most injuries are muscular...Gotcha. No biggie. The occasional pulled muscle...it's almost like it's not even worth talking about. Why, the greyhounds probably don't even notice. We're sorry, didn't catch that last part. Could you say that again?
...data supplied by the state Racing Commission to the Times shows that 14 of the 23 injuries recorded by the state vet through March 19 were bone fractures.Hmmm...Hey Jax, want to meet Dr. amd Ms. Pangloss?
Jax is very loving and a social butterfly. She thinks she is a lap dog and loves to be hugged and petted. You can rub her and pet her everywhere except her paws. She is a funny, little kleptomaniac. She loves to find things that interest her and takes them to her bed. If you are looking for anything you lost, she probably has it safe and sound in her personal space. She has adjusted to apartment living, including riding the elevator. Very loving. She does not like the crate. Jax is afraid of small children so she would do best in a home with older children. She is afraid of small dogs so would be best in a home with large dogs or as an only dog. She is also good with cats. 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.