Greyhound Racing in Kansas | GREY2K USA Worldwide

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A greyhound bred on a Kansas farm for racing
A greyhound bred on a Kansas farm for racing. (Jacobs Racing)

In 1986, Kansas voters decided by referendum to amend the state constitution to allow pari-mutuel wagering at racetracks.1 The legislature passed the Kansas Parimutuel Racing Act the following year. Greyhound racing began in 1989 with the opening of two dog tracks – Wichita Greyhound Park and The Woodlands. A third track, Camptown Greyhound Park, opened for six months in 1995 before closing. It then reopened in 2000 under new ownership, but closed again due to financial losses at the end of the year.2    By 2008, live racing had ceased at all Kansas greyhound tracks following a 95% decline in betting.3 Greyhound racing itself remains legal in the state but new victims continue to be bred at dozens of greyhound farms in Abilene and the surrounding area.4 Repeated attempt to revive dog racing with slot machine profits have failed. A 2022 bill authorizing sports wagering prohibited simulcast wagering on greyhound races.5

Kansas Live Greyhound Betting chart

In July 2020, GREY2K USA Worldwide investigators released video recordings of notorious greyhound breeder Ursula Abbie O’Donnell engaged in live lure training on her Abilene farm, located not two miles from the headquarters of the National Greyhound Association. Ms. O’Donnell provides dogs for racing in multiple states. Federal and state complaints have been filed and the case is pending. "Live lure training" refers to the use of small animals, commonly rabbits, to excite and enhance a chase instinct in young greyhounds. Screaming animals are dangled before greyhounds, dragged in front of them on ropes, or simple set loose to be attacked. These fragile animals often suffer cruel and miserable deaths.

Ms. O’Donnell has a particularly corrupt history and was arrested in 2002 for felony animal cruelty surrounding a scheme to kill thousands of unwanted Florida greyhounds by gunshot to the head. In the years since she escaped prosecution, she has been found with drug-positive dogs multiple times, has paid a substantial fine, but still retains her license in the state of Florida.

  1. “Parimutuel Racing Act,” Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, (accessed April 29, 2015).
  2. The Associated Press, “Owner closes greyhound race track,” Lawrence Journal-World, November 15, 2000.
  3. Mary Rupert, “Woodlands loses racing license,” Wyandotte Daily News, June 30, 2010.
  4. “Greyhounds,” Abilene Animal Hospital [nd], (accessed November 1, 2017).
  5. Andrew Bahl,  "After years of waiting, Kansas lawmakers vote to legalize sports betting attempt to lure KC Chiefs", Topeka Capital-Journal, April 19, 2022 (accessed May 11, 2022).

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