- Associated Press - Monday, July 6, 2015

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - In its first year under new management, officials at Iowa Greyhound Park are pleased to see an increase in wagering activity since a new season began in mid-May at the facility.

According to numbers from the park’s first seven weeks of operation, the amount wagered in an average dog-racing session was more than $37,000, compared with nearly $29,700 around the same time last year.

“We’re very happy about where we are at right now,” said Brian Carpenter, the park’s racing director. “Nobody really thought we would open up, but we’re up and running and we are doing well so far.”

Visitors are wagering more on a per-session basis at the race tracks, formerly known as Dubuque Greyhound Park, but overall revenue is down due to a decrease in the number of dog-racing sessions, the Telegraph Herald (https://bit.ly/1CVOO8S ) reported.

The total amount wagered through June was an estimated $971,000, about 45 percent less than the $1.75 million wagered through June 2014. Only 26 races were held at Iowa Greyhound Park through June this year, while 59 were held last year.

Races at the park, which typically begin in April, started later this year and have scaled back from six to four each week. Although the schedule change has confused some visitors, overall morale at the park has improved, according to pari-mutuel clerk Sue Hoppman, who has worked there for three decades.

“It is wonderful working for someone that wants us to make a go of it,” she said of the Iowa Greyhound Association, which operates the park under its new name. “Now we are working for (an entity) that is with us.”

Jill Lindecker, who also began working at the park in 1985, agrees that Iowa Greyhound Park is doing well.

“We are doing way better than we ever expected,” she said. “There were so many doubters that we would be up and running again, but it is happening.”

Officials are considering the possibility of adding one or two more weekly races next season, Carpenter said.


Information from: Telegraph Herald, https://www.thonline.com

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