Governor Bans Dog Racing in Connecticut

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Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (D-CT) speaks at a Covid-19 community vaccination clinic on March 14, 2021 in Stamford, Connecticut. John Moore/Getty Images/AFP

Gambling in Connecticut will no longer be going to the dogs.

Governor Ned Lamont signed Senate Bill 132 into law as Public Act 24-1, officially banning dog racing in the state. While there are currently no active dog tracks in Connecticut, animal protection advocates pushed for the ban to ensure none could reopen in the future.

Let’s take a closer look at the reasons behind this bill and its potential impact on top-rated sportsbooks.

Barking up the Right Tree

With the governor’s signature, Connecticut becomes one of the last states to ban dog racing, which Lamont described as cruel. “It’s mind-boggling to think that at one time people considered this a legitimate sport,” Lamont said. “I give credit to animal advocacy groups for their activism that has raised awareness about the abuse and extreme conditions these dogs face, leading to bans in nearly every state across the country. Signing this bill is an easy decision.”

Dog racing is illegal in 43 states. According to the greyhound advocate group Grey2K, there are only two operational dog tracks in the United States, both located in West Virginia. Additionally, six states have closed all dog tracks and ceased live racing, although a formal prohibition has not yet been enacted in those states. These six states are Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Texas and Wisconsin. Connecticut’s law banning takes effect on October 1st, 2024.

Dog Racing Was Taking Place in Connecticut Until Recently

In the Constitution State, dog racetracks were previously allowed to operate under existing laws and regulations.

For about 30 years, dog racing occurred in Connecticut at two venues: Plainfield Greyhound Park (opened in 1976) and Shoreline Star Greyhound Park (opened in 1996). However, both facilities closed their doors in 2005. Residents expressed relief when these live dog racing tracks ceased operations after years of decline and financial losses.

And now, the new law means that the sport will no longer be permitted.

Former Greyhound Race Dog Inspired Law

Veloce, a former racing greyhound, was rescued by State Representative Mike D’Agostino of Hamden, Connecticut. She was the inspiration behind his bill that ultimately banned dog racing in the state. “While there has not been an active dog racetrack in the state since 2005, it is important that Connecticut states unequivocally that this practice will not return,” D’Agostino said. “And if nothing else, we have removed from the general statutes pages and pages of unnecessary regulations that have not been needed for 20 years, and now will not be needed again.”

“It took a bit longer than we hoped to get this important, commonsense bill passed but that effort was absolutely worth it knowing that from this day forward dogs in Connecticut will be safe from being forced to endure dangerous and inhumane treatment in the name of sport,” said Rep. Nicole Klarides-Ditria

Unfortunately, Veloce passed away from cancer shortly before the bill was signed into law. Despite her role in inspiring the legislation, her family did not have the chance to witness its enactment. Greyhounds, like Veloce, are known to develop cancer due to the trauma they experience as racing dogs.

It’s heartwarming to know that Veloce’s legacy lives on through the positive change she helped bring about.