Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's the end of the line for greyhound racing in Massachusetts

Dec 26, 2009: It's the end of the line for greyhound racing in Massachusetts

The greyhounds will bolt from the gate for the last time in Massachusetts today, marking the end of 75 years of live dog racing in the state.

Voters last year elected by a wide margin, 56 percent to 44 percent, to ban the sport effective Jan. 1, 2010. Wonderland held its last race in September. Raynham Park stages its final race tonight. Both will continue to offer simulcasting - enabling patrons to wager on televised dog and horse races conducted elsewhere - at least through July 31, as a result of recently enacted legislation.

The end of racing here is part of a national trend, driven by a mix of animal-rights concerns, waning attendance at dog tracks, and new statutes enacted by legislatures and voters..." More

Dec 15, 2009: It's the end of the line for greyhound racing in Massachusetts

RAYNHAM, Mass. — Mike Sergio and his buddies Bob Foley and Jimmy Gorham have been going to the greyhound race track here for decades. Now retired, they come a couple of times a week and not just to gamble.

"It's kind of a social thing with us," Sergio says. "We shoot the breeze, we throw money in and bet, we eat, then we divide up whatever money is left."

"When we have money left to divide up," Foley interjects with a laugh. "It's entertainment," he adds, his voice trailing off slightly.

Greyhound racing has been a form of entertainment in Massachusetts for 75 years but not for much longer. The last card at
Raynham Park is expected to be Dec. 26, and the state's other dog track, Wonderland in Revere, stopped racing earlier in the fall.

It may, in fact, be the last time greyhounds run anywhere in New England.

Activists who alleged mistreatment of dogs led an effort that resulted in
Massachusetts voters banning dog racing beginning Jan. 1, 2010. Vermont and Maine also have outlawed racing. Twin River, Rhode Island's only dog track, is seeking to end racing as part of bankruptcy reorganization. New Hampshire's two tracks ended live racing earlier this year for financial reasons, and Connecticut's last greyhound track closed in 2006..." More