Poker Saves Dog Tracks.
A few years ago, the sight of closed or waning dog tracks around the state of Florida was not uncommon. Dog racing seemed to be loosing steam, and gamblers just weren't showing up to give custom to the tracks. Once some dog track owners caught hold of the rising star that is poker and opened air-conditioned poker rooms, things turned around. For the past 18 months, Glenn Oshima has been visiting the Daytona Beach Kennel Club, and in all that time has bypassed the betting booths where he could wager on the greyhounds and instead headed for the poker rooms for a few brisk hands of Texas Hold'em Poker.
Pat Biddix, president of another track, the Melbourne Greyhound Park, feels great about the influence of poker on the industry. "It's bringing people back to what was a dying business," said Biddix. While state revenue collected from dog track betting has been in sharp decline over the past five years, the contrasting revenue from poker has been climbing, and shows indications that it will continue to do so.