WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — Live greyhound racing will soon be coming to an end at Southland Casino Racing after an agreement was reached between the entertainment venue and the Arkansas Greyhound Kennel Association.
The agreement called for the number of live dog races at the West Memphis business to be reduced to 75 percent of its 2019 level of 6,656 races to 4,992 races in 2020. The number will be further reduced each subsequent year until 2022.
Southland’s contract with the kennel association was set to expire at the end of the year, prompting discussions about new contracts. During those proceedings, the organizations discussed the outlook on greyhound racing, which has reportedly seen a steady decline in recent years.
There is reportedly only six states that have live greyhound racing left in the United States and one of those is getting ready to end racing by 2021.
“The kennel association and Southland agreed that given these factors we needed an agreement that would provide certainty and clarity for the future by ending live racing via an orderly process and on our own terms,” said David Wolf, president and general manager of Southland Casino Racing.
Both sides agreed to a three-year deal given the need to give current employees time to find other employment and to make sure that the 1,200 greyhounds currently racing find homes.
“We know it’s going to take time to adopt out the greyhounds, and our commitment is to make sure every greyhound that has raced at Southland finds its forever home,” Wolf said.
The last live race will happen in December 2022.