In 1931 Florida legalized pari-mutuel wagering—where bets are pooled together—for both
greyhound and horse racing; the following February, local tobacco merchant Ott M. Carmichael opened the Palm Beach Kennel Club at the corner of Congress Avenue and Belvedere Road, north of present-day Palm Beach International Airport. About 4,000 of the county’s 52,000 residents attended the first night to watch greyhounds try to catch a mechanical lure. The first year’s attendance of 38 nights was over 72,000, with $614,000 placed in bets. Since 1970 the track has been owned by the Arthur J. Rooney family, which also owns the Pittsburgh Steelers and Yonkers Raceway in New York.