Ashton Marra Published

Governor Will Veto Bill to End Greyhound Funding


Gov. Jim Justice has announced he will veto a bill that would have effectively put an end to the greyhound racing industry in West Virginia, according to its supporters. 

Justice traveled to Wheeling to announce the veto of Senate Bill 437 Saturday morning.

The bill would have ended the Greyhound Breeding and Development Fund, a $14 million annual appropriation from video lottery and table game proceeds at casinos. 

The fund helps pay for dog breeding and the purses, or bet winnings, at the state’s two dog racetrack casinos in Nirto and Wheeling. 

The racing industry said getting rid of the fund would have resulted in the loss of some 1,700 jobs in West Virginia, which is why Justice said he will veto the bill.

“Eliminating support for the greyhounds is a job killer and I can’t sign it,” Justice said in a written statement. “The last thing we need to do is drive more people out of West Virginia. We can’t turn our back on communities like Wheeling that benefit from dog racing.”

Justice said the bill would jeopardize the health of the state’s casino industry. Proceeds from gambling support education and senior programs, among other things in the excess lottery portion of the budget. 

Editor’s Note: This story originally said that Gov. Justice vetoed the bill. He announced Saturday he will veto the legislation.