Sen. Jeff Danielson, D-Cedar Falls, said the bill allows the state to be proactive rather than waiting for greyhound racing to fail. If Branstad doesn’t sign the legislation, though, Danielson said “delicate negotiations that took years” will quickly unravel.
“If he vetoes it, he’s going to be digging a deeper hole,” Danielson said.
Jesus Aviles, Mystique CEO, said the deal would place his not-for-profit casino in a better financial position to give back to the community.
Jorene King, president of Heartland Greyhound Adoption, said the bill’s passage would likely result in an influx of greyhounds to her program and others. She said her concern is that she doesn’t know how many dogs to expect, but that the 18-month span until Council Bluffs racing would end allows the time to prepare financially and logistically.
Anti-racing advocates worry about the dogs’ well-being. Carey Theil, executive director for GREY2K USA, said though he’s wary that the bill maintains dog racing in Iowa, greyhounds would “pay the price” should Branstad veto it.
“This is not a perfect law, but it’s a step in the right direction for the dogs,” Theil said.