ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The results were overwhelming: Florida voters approved changes to the state's constitution on the issues of gambling and dog racing.
Approval of two amendments, No. 3 and 13, are to have real-world impacts in the coming years, especially locally. Derby Lane Greyhound Track has been in operation for more than 90 years, hosting greyhound racing and other casino games.
FLORIDA MIDTERM ELECTIONS: Which amendments passed, failed and what it means for you
With the passage of Amendment 3, voters now have the exclusive right to decide whether a casino can open in the state and whether dog tracks or horse tracks can expand gaming. Amendment 13 phases out commercial greyhound and other dog racing by 2020.
It's a double whammy for Derby Lane.
"The passing of Amendments 3 & 13 are hard blows to Derby Lane. Not only to Pinellas County but also to Florida's tourism, hospitality, and gaming industries," the business said in a statement to 10News. "All of the non-tribal gaming establishments in Florida will be affected, but we will not be discouraged. Derby Lane has been in operation since 1925, and as a historic landmark in the Sunshine City, we plan to support these athletes until this amendment goes into effect.
"Following that, we will continue to simulcast greyhound racing, as well as harness racing, thoroughbred, and jai alai."
Greyhound welfare group GREY2K USA Worldwide helped get Amendment 13 on the ballot. In a statement, it says in part:
"Florida voters have delivered a knock-out blow to a cruel industry that has been hurting and killing dogs for nearly a century," the statement reads. "Thanks to the passage of Amendment 13, thousands of innocent hounds will finally get the second chance they deserve.
"In the coming days, we will reach out to the greyhound industry as the adoption process begins. Greyhounds make wonderful companions, and this is an opportunity to help thousands of dogs find loving homes."
Until the greyhound racing ban goes into effect, Florida remains one of 10 states that allow the sport.
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