Bellevue IA- Melissa and Dan Schmidt have been breeding greyhounds in Bellevue for nearly a decade. It’s a business that has allowed them to raise their six children.
Schmidt has been a police officer and a teacher and while they provided well for her family greyhound breeding brings her flexiblity something that Schmidt says is “Huge for a family.”
Molly Grover, President and CEO of Dubuque Area Chamber says “Grey hound issue is a very hot topic at the moment and is on the minds of a lot of people”
It’s an especially hot topic in Dubuque —- because Mystique Casino is one of only two casinos in Iowa that offer live greyhound racing. The chamber of commerce says the sport — and the revenue associated with it —- peaked in 1991.
Grover states from a commerce perspective that greyhound racing is a dying industry. and has declined by 97% since it started”
But the Schmidt’s say ending the sport isn’t the solution”the casinos have both failed on their part to promote it and get a whole new generation of gamblers.”
Efforts to end greyhound racing in Iowa have failed several times over the last six years — and the latest bill is currently tied up between the Iowa House and Senate. In the end, it all comes down to dollars and cents.
Grover expresses that “4 million dollars that is going toward subsidzing greyhounds on an annual basis is being diverted from activites that create jobs make our community the best place to live work and play.”
While Schmidt counters this by stating “Approximately 77 million dollars leaving the state of iowa, thats huge… that’s money thats not going to be used by not only us but by the feed stores by the vets..”