2 Tracks

Bromo raced at WheelingBromo once raced at Wheeling Greyhound Park. (GREY2K USA Worldwide)

There are two greyhound tracks in West Virginia, Wheeling Island Casino & Racetrack and Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in Cross Lanes. Races are conducted year-round at both facilities, with a total of 513 race meets held in 2019.1 A population of nearly 600 dogs race at Mardi Gras and 1,000 at Wheeling.2

Since 2008, over 11,000 dogs have been injured while racing in the state. In 2022 alone, 666 greyhounds were injured, the highest on record since 2014. According to state records, innocent hounds suffered torn and twisted muscles, dislocations, seizures, heat stroke, broken tails and puncture wounds – and just since 2021, at least sixteen dogs have died! GT’s Cocobolo had a heart attack at the age of three. One-year-old Flying Betty Lou crushed her skull in a practice race. And poor Flying Berrylook died of a stroke. She was just three years old. Other young dogs like Bye bye Mr White, Craigie Damask and CW Emilio were among the dogs with broken legs who were killed since 2022 by track vets.3

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Every year greyhound breeders in West Virginia receive $17 million in subsidies, funds that could otherwise be used for vital state programs like fixing roads or substance abuse treatment.4

The dogs racing at the state's two dog tracks are bred both in and out of state. According to the President of the West Virginia Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association, close to 1,000 greyhounds are whelped in West Virginia annually.5

The West Virginia Racing Commission regulates greyhound racing in the state and enforces the Rules of Racing. In 2019, the total amount wagered on live greyhound racing in the state was $13,645,945, a decline of 34 percent from 2010.6

  1. West Virginia Racing Commission Annual Report 2019, West Virginia Racing Commission, 2020, racing.wv.gov (accessed February 11, 2020).
  2. "Evening Performance Program,” Mardi Gras Casino & Resort, July 22, 2013. ; W. Va. C.S.R §178-2-26.2.a ; Zack Harold, “Debate over number of races at Wheeling casino continues,” Charleston Daily Mail, February 13, 2013.
  3. Dr. Lori Bohenko, Wheeling Island Racetrack Veterinary Report, (Charleston WV: West Virginia Racing Commission, 2021-2023); Dr. Mark D. Webster, Veterinary emergencies, scratches, and racers inactivated due to track injuries at Mardi Gras Casino & Resort (Charleston WV: West Virginia Racing Commission, 2021-2023).
  4. Hoppy Kercheval. “Dog racing in West Virginia is fading fast down the stretch,” Metro News, December 17, 2018, wvmetronews.com (accessed July 31, 2019).
  5. Phil Kabler, “Funding allotment for greyhound training tracks questioned,” The Charleston Gazette, September 28, 2009.
  6. West Virginia Racing Commission Annual Report 2017, West Virginia Racing Commission, 2018, racing.wv.gov (accessed January 14, 2020).

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