This week, gaming company Southland Casino Racing in Arkansas announced it would no longer engage in dog-racing by 2022—an agreement approved by the state racing commission which will effectively end dog-racing across Arkansas. “We applaud Southland and its parent company Delaware North for getting this deal over the finish line,” animal-rights group Animal Wellness Action (AWA) said in a statement. “AWA and the Center for a Humane Economy, working with GREY2K USA Worldwide, have been urging the Buffalo-based gambling and food service company that owns Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis, AK to develop a plan to end racing. This is a short phase-out, and it’s good for dogs and for Southland and its reputation.” According to the AWA, dog-racing has become an unpopular sport nationwide with few attendees at events—which still force dogs to compete, often without turning a profit. Commercial dog racing is now illegal in 41 states, including Florida, which passed a ban in December to phase out the practice by the end of 2020. In addition to Arkansas, Delaware North is still operating two dog-racing tracks in West Virginia. “It is our hope that Delaware North works out a similar agreement with greyhound breeders and other key stakeholders in West Virginia,” AWA said. “West Virginia does not want to be the last place in the United States with regular racing that put greyhounds at risk.”

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