A battle over the promotion, and possibly the future, of the state’s greyhound dog racing industry was decided at today’s Racing and Gaming Commission meeting. The Commission voted 3-2 to allow the “Iowa Greyhound Association” to continue as the organization that promotes dog racing in Iowa. The rival “Greyhound Racing in Iowa Association” was seeking to take over the promotion fund. Commissioner Rita Sealock voted against keeping the status quo, saying the industry has been in a steep decline the past 12 years and the I-G-A hasn’t taken action to try and reverse the decline. Sealock says it’s hard to change when the same people are always involved.Sealock said she’s afraid the decline in interest in greyhound racing and an increase in taxes on the tracks could cause them to eventually close.Commissioner Bill Hansen also voted with Sealock. Mike Mahaffey was one of the three commissioners to vote to keep “I-G-A” Mahaffey says he didn’t hear any compelling evidence to make him vote for a change. And, he says I-G-A appears to have a majority of the support of those involved in racing.Mahaffey doesn’t believe I-G-A should carry all the blame for the dog track’s troubles. He says the decline in greyhound racing is a nationwide phenomenon and not just in Iowa.Commission members said both sides should work together to try and improve the industry. Mahaffey says it’s now up to the two competing groups to get together. The I-G-A will receive 260-thousand dollars to promote greyhound racing.
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