West Virginia House Passes Bill To Ax Greyhound Funding

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The West Virginia House has voted to eliminate funding for greyhound racing, which industry officials say would doom the industry in the state and cost an estimated 1,700 jobs.

The bill approved 56-44 in the House of Delegates after long debate Saturday will go to Gov. Jim Justice for signing or veto.

It passed the Senate 19-15 on Monday.

Funding comes from video lottery and table game revenues at the state’s two greyhound tracks in Nitro and Wheeling.

The bill would transfer almost $14 million in anticipated payouts to dog breeders next year to help close the state budget deficit, setting $1 million aside for dog adoptions and shelters.

According to legislators, it currently involves about 7,200 dogs in West Virginia. Greyhound racing with betting is prohibited in 39 states.