Brian Carpenter, the track’s racing director and general manager, said wagering was up 14 percent during this year’s 104-day season.
“I just think a lot of people hear about how things are probably coming to an end in greyhound racing down the road,” Carpenter said, “so a lot more people are coming and interested to see it before the time comes to an end.”
Dog racing is illegal in 41 states. The only greyhound track left in Arkansas will close in three years. A ban on greyhound racing in Florida goes into effect at the end of next year. Carpenter said he’s not sure what will happen to the Dubuque track.
“It’s not just financial that we’re looking at any more,” Carpenter told Radio Iowa. “Now, with Florida closing at the end of 2020, a lot of the people won’t be breeding as much as they used to be, so there could be a shortage of greyhounds. I’m not sure if we’ll have enough dogs to keep running dog racing, so at this time we’re just running year-by-year to see how it goes.”
Carpenter, who has worked at the track since 1986, said there are a handful of Iowa kennels owners raising greyhounds, but the finances will get tighter when they can no longer race in Florida and Arkansas when Dubuque’s season ends.
“As of right now, I tell people we’re hoping to be here a minimum of three more years,” Carpenter said. “After that, I cannot predict the future.”
The Dubuque Greyhound Park opened in 1985. Carpenter has been working at the track since 1986. Racing is scheduled to resume in Dubuque in May.