With a law to limit online parimutuel wagering on greyhound racing set to take effect in Oregon on July 1, one of the country’s leading advance-deposit wagering companies has discontinued betting on dog racing entirely.
In an email to customers this week, TVG, part of the FanDuel group, announced, “Due to an upcoming legislation change, we will no longer offer wagering on greyhound races starting Monday, April 4.”
The legislation referenced is almost surely SB 1504 in Oregon, which, among other things, essentially bans greyhound racing in the state but allows online wagering on dog races “unless wagering on live greyhound racing is unlawful in the jurisdiction of the individual’s principal residence.”
The bill was signed into law by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on March 24. Oregon represents what is called a “multijurisdictional hub” for ADW operators that handle parimutuel betting, which means online wagers processed from around the nation primarily go through the state. The only other state that allows the “multijurisdictional hub” setup is North Dakota.
TVG, through a spokesman, did not cite SB 1504 specifically, but confirmed the operator “is no longer offering wagering on greyhound racing in any state.” An industry source indicated that betting on greyhound racing amounted to less than 1% of TVG’s overall handle — and likely less than 0.5% — with horse racing the main source.
@FanDuel @TVG VIP account holder #3379305 I’m extremely disappointed that you choose to not carry greyhound racing any longer. The 3 tracks left each handle close to a million dollars a performance. Why was this done? I hate to have to leave #TVG 😞
— Kenny T. (@Kennysus) April 5, 2022
Good news for anti-greyhound racing advocates
The decision was welcomed by Carey Theil, the executive director of the anti-greyhound racing advocacy group GREY2K USA Worldwide.
“This is good news for everyone who cares about dogs, and there’s a broader trend here, in which ADW betting and simulcasting is being curtailed in multiple jurisdictions,” Theil said. “We are witnessing the end of greyhound racing across all these sectors, including the ADW sector. I believe the companies like TVG and FanDuel, that are ahead of that trend, will find themselves better positioned in the long run. The others, trying to squeeze the last few dollars out of an industry that voters find inhumane, will regret the decision.”
Theil also said his organization will continue to advocate for enforcement of SB 1504.
“I feel other ADWs will follow suit, or at least limit it to 10 states” that allow greyhound racing, Theil said. “If one of these companies does not choose to comply with the new law, we will do everything possible to compel enforcement. Some of those options might not be entirely pleasant.”
SB 1504 originally aimed to make it illegal for gambling operators in Oregon to accept wagers on greyhound racing, but it was changed significantly with an amendment, after a concerted lobbying effort from some ADW companies. Only nine states allow live dog racing in 2022, but just three (Iowa, Arkansas, and West Virginia) run live racetracks, and Iowa and Arkansas are phasing it out.
Photo: Greg Lovett/Palm Beach Post