City officials in Dubuque and Council Bluffs are asking state lawmakers to again consider ending greyhound racing in their communities. Both cities have sent proposals to the capitol to that would permit them to operate slot machines and table games in their land-based casinos without the greyhound tracks.
Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce President, Molly Grover, says that over 30 years the Dubuque Racing Association has subsidized greyhound racing at the expense of economic development. “Fifty-five million dollars over recent years has been a subsidy to revive a failing industry. The industry is losing popularity, it’s only in seven states. A strict business case alone looking at the annual subsidy — any other business would have shut down long ago,” Grover says.
Grover says money spent to keep the industry going should have gone to local communities. “There’s four million dollars here in the Dubuque market — via the Mystique casino, a non-profit casino, I want to make that distinction — that is a subsidy to just to make greyhound racing viable,” Grover says. “That’s four million that could go to economic development, community development, and our citizens. That’s job creation.”
The Iowa Greyhound Association has also sent a proposal to the state legislature that would close the two existing greyhound tracks but build a new one.