‘RUFF’ ISSUE: Dog Days Are Numbered

Dog racing isn’t what it used to be. Only seven states still have it and most others have banned it. It brings in a fraction in revenue of what it once did.

Iowa offers dog racing at racetrack casinos in Dubuque and Council Bluffs. But the races only continue because casinos subsidize them.

Thursday two top leaders at the Statehouse urged the affected parties to come together soon on a way to stop dog racing but help those who would lose out if the races stopped, mainly the breeders and dog owners.

“That’s the right message to resolve it, ” House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, a Hiawatha Republican, said. “That meets the needs of the folks that are most affected by the decision that we would make.”

“It’s a rough issue,” Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Council Bluffs Democrat, said of a possible deal. For emphasis, he repeated, “It’s a ruff issue!”

At issue is how much casinos should pay to help those affected with what those involved call a “soft landing” as they transition out of the dog racing business.

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