Florida approves constitutional amendment to ban greyhound racing

Florida will soon ban greyhound racing.

The state’s voters on Tuesday approved Amendment 13, which bans betting on greyhound races starting in 2021. The 11 tracks that still have the sport will be allowed to keep their more profitable poker rooms, simulcast betting and, in South Florida, slot machines.

The sport remains in five other states, but may be too small to survive.

Proponents said racing is inherently cruel, pointing to the average of two deaths weekly from illness or injury among the state’s 8,000 racing dogs.

Opponents said the dogs are treated better than most pets and enjoy racing. They said the industry supports 3,000 jobs.

The measure was placed on the ballot by the Florida Constitution Revision Commission, a panel chosen by the governor, legislative leaders and the Supreme Court chief justice. The commission meets every 20 years.

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