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Mar 02

West Virginia Senate Passes Bill to End State Funding of Greyhound Races

raceWest Virginia’s full Senate yesterday, in a 29 to 5 vote, gave approval to legislation that would put an end to the state’s funding of greyhound races.

The proposal – Senate Bill 641 – would eliminate state subsidies for greyhound purse and breeder’s funds. According to a Spectrum Racing Group study released last year, over 95% of total greyhound racing revenue is gained from these subsidies.

According to the state Racing Commission, elimination of the subsidies would free up about $11.3 million for the state, a state which has a deep budget deficit. The measure also frees up another $10 million by eliminating the Racetrack Modernization Fund.

The bill also “decouples” greyhound racing at casinos in Nitro and Wheeling, eliminating a requirement in current law that the casinos must conduct live greyhound races for them to be able to renew their state video lottery and table games licenses.

The measure now moves to the state’s House of Representatives for consideration.

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