Southland Casino Racing will be ending its live greyhound races by 2022.
The West Memphis entertainment destination and the Arkansas Greyhound Kennel Association have agreed to phase out the races over the course of the next three years. Beginning in 2020, the races will begin to decrease and will end officially by Dec. 31, 2020.
In 2020, Southland will reduce the number of greyhound races to 75 percent of the 2019 total. The number of races in 2019 is 6,656, while the number of races for 2020 is projected to be 4,992. In 2021, Southland will reduce the races to 60 percent of the previous figure (3,994 races) and to 40 percent of the 2021 figures in 2022 (2,662 races).
The kennel association unanimously voted to approve the agreement, and the Arkansas Racing Commission approved a petition from Southland. As a result of the Arkansas Casino Gaming Amendment of 2018, Southland is not required to continue its greyhound racing to maintain its casino license.
“The kennel association and Southland agreed that given these factors we need an agreement that would provide certainty and clarity for the future by ending live racing via an orderly process and on our own terms,” Southland Casino Racing president and general manager David Wolf said in a statement.
Currently, there are approximately 1,200 greyhounds racing at Southland. The phase-out period will allow time to arrange adoptions, according to Wolf.
“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.