Committee to Support Greyhounds: The real racing handle numbers - Florida Politics

Committee to Support Greyhounds: The real racing handle numbers

The anti-racing activists led by the Humane Society of the United States, under the guise of “Protect Dogs — Yes on 13,” continue their barrage of deliberately deceptive propaganda aimed at Florida’s voters.

Once again, they are hiding the ball by intentionally omitting monies wagered via Advanced Deposit Wagering (ADW), recently submitting a misleading and incomplete financial analysis to the media.

Below is an example of true handle and the TRUE financial impact of greyhound racing, taken from three Florida facilities.

Every track has a results sheet after each performance, which lists the results of every race for that session along with the attendance and handle at the bottom.

The author of the spreadsheet in question — Mr. Dick Ciampa — has reviewed the results sheets for three tracks to gauge the amount of advanced wagering money that is not reflected in the State report that the “Protect Dogs” group referenced.

What was found was a staggering difference in the news release sent out by Protect Dogs and the actual amounts wagered.

In the DBPR annual report, Derby Lane (operating as Derby Lane and Tampa Greyhound Track) reported $38,919,143. When the reported handle on the results sheets were added up for that year, they totaled $90,902,125 – a difference of $51,982,982.

The same analysis was done for Palm Beach (i.e., Palm Beach Kennel Club & License Acquisitions). In the DBPR Annual Report, they reported $49,976,741. The analysis of the results sheet showed the actual handle reported of $155,671,152 — another staggering difference of $105,694,411.

A third track was analyzed, Jacksonville (Jacksonville Kennel Club, Orange Park Kennel Club and St. Johns Greyhound Park), and produced similar results. The handle reported on the DBPR Annual Report was $39,829,574. The analysis of the results sheets was $90,530,670, another whopping difference of $50,701,096.

On three of the larger tracks alone, the total difference was $208,378,489. This hardly speaks of a dying sport as opponents would have you believe. One must ask why they ignore the ADW numbers.

This was a time-consuming endeavor, exactingly researched with clearly supported numbers and totals that are available to the public. It is not a “random spreadsheet” as anti-racing activists have now claimed since our committee first published it.

The numbers do not lie: The anti-racing group’s “report” omitted $200 million in wagering from three tracks alone.

As we have done in the past, The Committee to Support Greyhounds urges the public to come learn the truth for themselves. There are tours being arranged, via the National Greyhound Association, to meet trainers, meet current and ex-racers, watch a few races, visit with adoption group volunteers, get photos with the greyhounds, and ask questions about their care, racing careers, and life after the track.

There are also several kennels who have been putting up live feeds on Facebook each morning, so the public can check out ‘kennel life.’

The full data for handles at several FL tracks is available here. For more information, write to

Photo credit: Van Abernethy


  1. It’s a shame that the animal rights extremists have to resort to lies and misleading propaganda to promote their cash-cow. PROTECT GREYHOUNDS – VOTE NO ON #13!

  2. So ridiculous that everything they say is a lie. Even their marital status, so they can hide the money. And she gets attorney fees too, so that would be another paycheck to their household. Check out their 990’s. Crates? They have one, too. Claiming the dogs are drugged? Actual reports and analysis say different. And Protector of Dogs?They walked away from the dogs when they had the tracks in MA shut down. They don’t care about dogs. They only care about money. And the whole train story? Do yourself a favor and read up on that. I do not know how those people live with themselves. The money they steal by telling lies to honest caring people would be better used if donations were given to local shelters. That way the animals would benefit from donations.

  3. In another thread Eric Jackson said that they are an “advocacy” organization not adoption. They are a bunch of liars and thieves who change their story when challenged.

  4. This is all smoke and mirrors. Wagering doesn’t make any direct contribution to the economy at all. It’s tens of millions of dollars going out of the pockets of losing bettors and tens of millions going into the pockets of winning bettors. That adds nothing to the economy. You might as well say a pickpocket who takes $100 from my wallet adds $100 to the economy.

    Besides, total wagering handle is a distraction. You don’t evaluate an industry by just looking at revenues; you draw a balance sheet after paying expenses. The Spectrum Gaming Group report of 2013 looked at Florida’s parimutuel wagering figures for FY 2012 and interviewed the racetrack owners. Their conclusion?

    “It is clear that pari-mutuel operations at greyhound tracks are loss leaders as the tracks sustained a combined operating loss from wagering on greyhounds of $35 million. Only three tracks made a profit. Greyhound track cardrooms offset the loss with an operating profit of $39 million.” (page 136).

    1. Of the wagering 20 cents on the dollar goes to towards revenue and the rest is allocated to the betting pools. How do I know this? I worked at a harness racing track for two years as it’s controller.

      1. Thanks for that confirmation that “handle” actually inflates the real revenue by a multiple of 5. And as I have pointed out elsewhere on this page, that 20% revenue is not enough to make greyhound racing profitable for Florida racetracks. Without legislation forcing tracks to run races that nobody wants to watch, the tracks would shut down.

        1. If handle is understated by $100 million then actual revenue is understated by $20 million in the three tracks sampled. The numbers don’t lie but Grey2k sure does.

        2. ‘ Smoke and mirrors’ he says, from the side that was implicated in blackmail, in bed with rackeeers, found guilty of ‘ outright TRICKERATION’ , always continuing with the lies. Tell me, if tracks are losing so much money, where do the 3. 4 5 13 k and up superfecta payoffs come from? Liar

      1. I’ve done my research, thanks, and so has the Spectrum Gaming Group. They prove that greyhound racing in Florida is a money-losing proposition, regardless of how many gambling dollars flow through the pari-mutuel totes.

        You know what else the Spectrum Gaming Group report says? Here’s what they were told by two of the three racetracks that Dick Ciampa wants everyone to believe are making piles of money hand over fist, thanks to dog racing:

        “It is a dying sport,” said Michael Glenn, general manager of the Palm Beach Kennel Club, one of the country’s premiere greyhound tracks. “Decoupling (removing the requirement for minimum performances) will help us in the short run as we would run fewer races which, in turn, will lower our operating costs. Our simulcast revenue will also increase, but there just are not enough folks out there to come to the track and wager on these races. There is not any interest.” PBKC would shut down the dog track if it could, Glenn said.

        Jamie Shelton, CFO of Jacksonville Greyhound Racing, agrees with Glenn. He said that no matter what efforts are made to prop up the sport, interest is not there. “We can see it by our live handle. The older folks are not being replaced,” he said. “There are just too many other things to do out there today. Watching a greyhound race is not at the top of most people’s agenda.”


            “Over the last few decades, dog racing has seen its popularity wane. Faced with diminishing crowds and a desire to expand their outdoor concert amphitheater, the Hecht/Havenick family are now turning their sights towards another pari-mutuel wagering sport, jai-alai. The final day of greyhound racing will be Friday, June 29.”


          2. So Dick Ciampa, where are your figures showing that the Florida racing industry is more profitable now than it was six years ago? And when did this miraculous reversal of the long-term trend of decline suddenly start to turn around?

          3. And again… Commenting under (and misspelling) someone elses’ name. It seems that if the poster had one iota of confidence behind their convictions, they would proudly do so under their own name, rather than playing this childish game of posting as someone else. #VoteNoOn13

        1. the only money losers are the people you swindle out of their money, Greed2k is nothing but a scam, a group of liars, thieves and cheats, anyone that supports them needs their head examined, , How much money has Greed2k or the HSUS help the schools? as much as they help the animals, NONE, All they done is spins lies and twist and omit the facts, How much has the anti racing group improved the economy, the only thing they improve is their pocket books, and the politicians they bribe

    2. Doesn’t have a direct impact on the economy? How about the thousands of people directly & indirectly involved in racing? Stores, gas stations, hotels, restaurants….all this $$ also goes into the state revenue through tax dollars.


      1. plus the sales tax revenue to the state, and the hit to the local economies via suppliers that sell to all of the racing kennels and farms statewide! It absolutely matters.

      2. Yes, and if dog racing wasn’t around nobody would be buying gas, staying in hotels, eating in restaurants, and all those part-time minimum wage earners employed by the racing industry wouldn’t be able to find similar crappy jobs anywhere else. Oh, wait. None of that is true!

        1. Well you really twisted my words! But there will be a considerable loss of tax revenue to the state as well as visitor dollars & income to these businesses.

          1. Come on now Patti. Surely you’ve seen the articles about the Spectrum report that determined greyhound racing cost the state more to oversee than it brought in.

          2. Fred, once again you are missing the point of the article. The Humane Society of the United States has grossly understated the handle of 3 dog tracks totalling $200 million, which can equate to anywhere between $10 million and $40 million of revenue depending on the mixture of simulcast and live handle.

    3. It depends on what the pickpocket spends that 100.00 on . Let’s say you fleece unsuspecting gullible people into the idea you are saving greyhounds who do not need saving and they donate 100.00 to you. You in turn are pick-pocketed of that 100.00. Let us say the pick-pocketer spends the money in the local economy. 50.00 at a local restaurant (supports the service industry); 25.00 at the grocery store (supports employees & local economy); 25.00 for haircut (supporting local industry/entrepreneur) So this money has gone back into the local economy and helped to retain jobs.

      Thank you for citing as your main argument a 6 year old incomplete (by their OWN ADMISSION) report. I suppose that speaks more than any of your refutations. Have a Magical Day.

    4. Jeff White, what about the Education Enhancement Trust Fund, that helps support public schools and universities in Florida? If greyhound racing were to end, the State estimates it would mean a loss of $400,000 a year to the EETF. The State says it will also lose more than $1,000,000 in taxes and fees. Greed2k also insists that the dogs are abused. Have you ever seen a racing greyhound? They are magnificent athletes, and are cared for as such. Abused dogs don’t look, or act, anything like that. For the record, I have no financial stake in this outcome. I have had greys, as pets, for over 25 years. In that time, I have been to breeding farms and racing kennels, where I witnessed nothing but the happiest, healthiest dogs ever. The internet has changed the way we do most everything in life. Ask the “brick and mortar” businesses how many people actually walk through their doors, as opposed to ordering online. It’s no different for how people spend their gambling dollars.

    5. Smoke and mirrors perfectly describes the propaganda put out by Grey2k. Cherry picking isolated incidents and using them to paint an entire industry with a very broad brush. Using numbers taken out of context or with no context at all to mislead. Stealing people’s photos, altering them and brandishing them with their own logo, and using them to solicit donations.

  5. Hardly is it just old people attending… At Bestbet just the other day a 6 year old and his friends celebrated his Bday visiting and playing with retirees and current racers. He even had a Greyhound themed cake! The photos are on Bestbet racings FB page. The same Bestbet Shelton works at.

  6. I don’t know what to believe as I am wearing my “yes on 13” tee shirt. I only know that at the cost of greyhohnds’ lives I want this deadly sport outlawed.

    1. Believe grey2k is lying fraudster. ‘ Google ‘ grey2k blackmail west Virginia’ or ‘ animal liberation front Christine Dorchak’ did you know HSUS was fined 15000000 dollars for racketeering for paying a witness to LIE, that’s what the crowd of yes on 13 all do. Go visit a kennel to see the truth for yourself, don’t, believe your own eyes, not grey2k lies

    2. Believe the truth not the lies of Grey2k and the Humane Society of the United States, it is not a deadly sport. #votenoon13 #grey2klies

  7. I think Jeff White makes some good points, so I won’t repeat them here, but I do have some questions: If racing is so profitable, why are tracks closing all over the country–and the world? Why are track owners eager to get out from under racing? Why did the casinos in Iowa spend millions of dollars to separate themselves from racing? Why are states trying to end subsidies to racing, and why does racing need those subsidies to begin with?

    1. Here are a few questions for Fred, 1. Why, if grey2k is on the up and up, were they implicated in a blackmail scheme in WVA? 2. Why would they accept as partners a organization convicted of racketeering?. 3. Why would they immediately delete any opposite viewpoint on fb and block the person. Why would they lie about being aligned with ALF when the president is right there on their website? Why will they not engage in a LIVE debate. Why were they sued for defamation in Massachusetts? Why did the Boston Herald write an editorial detailing their deceit in the fight there? Why did they admit to fraudulent advertising in Massachusetts? To anyone wanting the TRUTH about this corrupt, thieving crowd, simple google the above to see for yourself. Above ALL, don’t give these crooks a dime.

      1. Andy why don’t we just agree that no matter what the topic is, you’re going to write the same response. That way you can just say it’s me Andy. You know the drill, and save us reading the same thing over and over.

  8. This article fails to address the percentage as a whole when the numbers are mentioned. Oh and the study was over a TEN YEAR time frame!!! More Grey2k not telling the whole story. #votenoon13

  9. OK, then here’s my question: if all this money is rolling into racing coffers why, according to the Spectrum Report, does it cost the state about $3 million more a year to regulate the industry than it generates in revenues?

  10. All Andy does is go on about things irrelevant to the issue Prop 13 addresses. I’ve asked this before and never got an answer, so I’ll ask again: Do you really think people who will be voting care about your opinion of us?

    1. With Grey2k and the HSUS pushing for the amendment, it is only fair to the voters that they see the whole picture, not grossly understated handle figures or pictures of greyhounds from overseas or a picture that was stolen and changed.

  11. Yes Fred I definitely think that Florida voters care about our opinion of the organizations you represent. As I and others talk to voters all over the state and learn the truth, see the industry first hand and meet the dogs they are embarrassed that they’ve fallen for the lies and misinformation for so long. They don’t want our beautiful state to turn into a gamblers haven either. You may have lots more $$$ behind you but we have the truth!


  12. The “whole picture” of Prop 13 is the commodification, exploitation and abuse of greyhounds in Florida racing gulags. Seems to me you’ve been doing everything you can to avoid that issue.

    1. The only exploitation going on is that of Grey2k and the Humane Society of the United States. With 13 on the ballot and the premise being used in advertising it is about how the dogs are treated, then the Yes on 13 campaign needs to agree to the challenge of a live public debate issued by the No on 13 campaign.

  13. See that’s where you’re wrong. Thanks to tracks, kennels, owners and adopters the good people of Florida are seeing that they are not exploited, not abused …. just the opposite!

  14. Please explain to me how a dog born on a farm for the sole purpose of making money for an owner, raced (at great risk) until the owner no longer makes a profit, then discarded is not being exploited.

    1. All athletes have a risk of injury. The number of greyhounds injured and missing their next start is minimal as a percentage of the whole. When they are done racing they are retired to loving homes and some even go on to be service dogs. The only exploitation of the dogs going on is that of Grey2k and HSUS.

    2. You’re like a broken record, Fred. Just because you repeat the same meaningless mission statement over and over doesn’t make it gospel. Your choice of words catch the eye and tug at heartstrings but when taken into perspective, they hold no value. People ARE questioning the validity of the ludicrous statements you and your sheep are spewing.

  15. Ah, the old all athletes ploy. I thought we’d already done away with this. How many other athletes never get a say in their own lives? How many are born on farms and caged in kennels for the sole purpose of making their owners money? How many are discarded when they are no longer profitable?

    1. Once again you are getting off topic Fred. The article is about how the handle was grossly understated by the HSUS. Which leads to the FACT that they are exploiting the animals for profit and killing them. Which in FACT they are the largest financial donor to the Yes on 13 campaign, with Grey2k being the second largest donor. Until the Yes on 13 is willing to accept the live debate challenges issued by the No on 13 campaign they need to quit their BS.

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