On May 30, 2014, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed a bill (Senate File 2362) which allowed the casinos for the Iowa-based Bluffs Run and Iowa Greyhound Park Racetracks to dismiss the requirement to host live greyhound racing on site by offering a pay-out option over several years to the local greyhound racing connections who were co-located on casinos’ property. Per the bill, the casinos may still offer simultaneously telecast (simulcasting) horse and greyhound racing but are no longer required to host live racing.
Using the casino funds from the mandated pay-out option, Iowa Greyhound Park will resume live racing starting May 2016. Meanwhile, Bluffs Run’s last day of live greyhound racing was on December 18, 2015.
Bluffs Run Greyhound Park opened in Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1986. For nearly thirty years, people gathered at Bluffs Run to encourage a sport that rewards careful study and, ultimately, supported the community. Bluffs Run supported approximately 1,400 employees and an impressive community of greyhound racing fans.
Though the track is closed, we still have our memories of those exceptional greyhound athletes and the hard-working trainers, staff, and mutuels. We appreciate all of you and thank you for providing nearly 30 years of excitement. We are lucky to have been able to work with everyone and wish you the best.
Just a few states away, Gulf Greyhound Park in La Marque, Texas has seen some tough times. Gulf opened their doors in 1992 to a staggering crowd of greyhound racing enthusiasts. After weathering 23 years, Gulf announced they are pausing live racing, with an announced resume date.
Sally Briggs, the general manager of Gulf Greyhound Park, offered a statement to the Austin American-Statesman where she asserted the track’s closure. She pointed to a decline in the racing industry: Gulf Greyhound couldn’t compete with the other racetracks in surrounding states. In the same article, Texas Greyhound Association’s executive director Nick James stated Gulf Greyhound Park’s closing will result in eliminating approximately 250-300 jobs and 11 nearby kennels. Ms. Briggs said the greyhounds housed at the track will be sent to other states or go to adoption programs. Gulf has always provided adoption resources for their retired racers, so we are glad to know they are stepping up to make sure nobody is forgotten during this difficult time.
We have always enjoyed working with the folks over at Gulf Greyhound Park. We had the pleasure of developing a relationship with Ron Godfroy and John Paul Faour, hosts of Gulf’s Big Money Gambling Parimutuel Podcast.
Ron, JP, and the staff of the Big Money Gambling Parimutuel Podcast are all stand up folks. They are hard working people with talent, integrity, and a sense of humor that made listening to their podcast something we looked forward to every week. We wish them and the Gulf Greyhound Park staff the best with their future endeavors and know they will continue to be successful, no matter where they go or do.
We at Greyhound Channel appreciate the racing staff and the greyt people at Bluffs and Gulf who have always been devoted to working tirelessly around the clock for the sport and these magnificent furry athletes. Thank you.
To find more information about the topics listed in our article, we recommend you check out the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission as well as the Iowa Greyhound Association. You can also read up on the bill (Senate File 2362) here.