Southland Greyhound Park
Southland Greyhound Park is a greyhound racing park and gaming casino in West Memphis that is one of Arkansas' iconic attractions.
Southland hosts more than 400 greyhound races each year as well as simulcast thoroughbred and greyhound races from other tracks in the United States.
Established in 1956, Southland was once the No. 1 dog track in the United States. It was the only gambling site in the Mid-South and drew people from as far as Chicago.
The facility, which offered pari-mutuel wagering, started facing stiff competition in the 1990s when casino gambling began in nearby Tunica, Miss. Its average daily betting handle dropped by 20 percent within the seven-month period from October 1992 to March 1993. In 1989, gamblers wagered $212 million on live greyhound races at Southland. By 2005 that figure had dropped to $33.5 million.
As a result Southland invested an estimated $40 million. Since 2006, following approval of the Arkansas General Assembly, the facility has been revamped to include electronic games of skill, electronic blackjack and video poker machines. Southland has added more than 300 employees, making it the third largest employer in West Memphis with 660 employees.
Electronic gaming hours allowed at the facility were expanded in May 2008 by unanimous approval of the Arkansas Racing Commission to boost revenue and confront continued competition from the Mississippi casinos.
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