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Georgia Horse Race Betting Struck Down by State Senate


The Georgia Senate voted to not go a invoice that will have given the state’s voters a say on legalizing horse racing betting. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Invoice misses two-thirds vote requirement

The Georgia Senate struck down a constitutional modification that will have allowed residents to vote on legalizing horse race betting.

I’m dissatisfied in my colleagues.” 

“I’m dissatisfied in my colleagues,” mentioned Chickamauga Republican Senator Jeff Mullis after the measure failed. “I used to be actually hoping you’ll let this go to the poll. That’s all this does is ship it to the poll.”

State Senators voted 33-20 in favor of Senate Decision 131, however didn’t meet the two-thirds requirement for it to get on the poll; each Republicans and Democrats voted in favor of the invoice. Because of this the plan, whereas supported, is not going to be progressing to the Home and won’t go to the general public for a vote.

Senate Invoice 212 was drafted at the side of Decision 131 and would create 5 horse racing tracks in Georgia. Proponents pointed to widespread financial advantages which included tax income for training, well being care, and different areas.

Educational horse racing research

The Senate additionally referenced a Georgia Southern College research that discovered horse racing might enhance the state financial system by $1.28bn yearly. The identical research additionally revealed that upwards of 15,800 jobs could possibly be created throughout the decade.

We needs to be rolling out the crimson carpet for this trade.”

“We needs to be rolling out the crimson carpet for this trade,” mentioned Alpharetta Republican Senator Brandon Seaside.

Opponents of the invoice felt that horse racing couldn’t survive with out slots and different so-called “vices” of playing. The invoice would have banned these. Critics additionally pointed to the will increase in dependancy and controversial ethical standing as causes of objection. This comes regardless of the state’s lottery accumulating a whole lot of thousands and thousands per yr.

Ramifications of the vote

In a 2019 report, the Lewis Group estimated that Georgia horse racetracks would produce an financial output from operations of almost $1.8bn within the first yr and $9m over the primary 5 years, and this assumed the state would have three racetracks, not 5. From that, the state and native communities would obtain $1.4bn in tax income within the first 5 years.

By placing down horse race betting, Georgia is placing a pause on advancing towards a future with widespread sports activities betting. This has been the development of the nation lately as states proceed to push for legalization and, after passing laws, incorporate betting with different sides of sports activities.

Each day fantasy sports activities are energetic in Georgia, though conventional sports activities betting remains to be unlawful. All DFS gamers should be 21 and websites should function throughout the rules set by the Georgia Lottery. Any future sportsbooks licensed to function in Georgia will probably report back to the state lottery, as effectively.

The Georgia legislature has not efficiently handed playing laws since 1992. The Home has been particularly unreceptive, although Home Speaker David Ralston lately mentioned there was elevated curiosity within the matter.

“There may be an urge for food this session that I hadn’t seen earlier than to do one thing,” Ralston mentioned in January.

Senate Invoice 142, one other sports activities betting-related piece of laws, remains to be making rounds within the Home. Georgia horse race betting could possibly be revisited if it involves a vote.

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