Georgia Horse Race Betting Struck Down by State Senate
Bill misses two-thirds vote requirement
The Georgia Senate struck down a constitutional amendment that would have allowed citizens to vote on legalizing horse race betting.
I am disappointed in my colleagues.”
“I am disappointed in my colleagues,” mentioned Chickamauga Republican Senator Jeff Mullis right after the measure failed. “I was actually hoping you would let this go to the ballot. That’s all this does is send it to the ballot.”
State Senators voted 33-20 in favor of Senate Resolution 131, but did not meet the two-thirds requirement for it to get on the ballot both Republicans and Democrats voted in favor of the bill. This means that the strategy, while supported, will not be progressing to the Residence and will not go to the public for a vote.
Senate Bill 212 was drafted in conjunction with Resolution 131 and would generate 5 horse racing tracks in Georgia. Proponents pointed to widespread economic benefits which incorporated tax revenue for education, well being care, and other regions.
Academic horse racing study
The Senate also referenced a Georgia Southern University study that found horse racing could increase the state economy by $1.28bn annually. The identical study also revealed that upwards of 15,800 jobs could be produced inside the decade.
We must be rolling out the red carpet for this sector.”
“We must be rolling out the red carpet for this sector,” mentioned Alpharetta Republican Senator Brandon Beach.
Opponents of the bill felt that horse racing could not survive with out slots and other so-called “vices” of gambling. The bill would have banned these. Critics also pointed to the increases in addiction and controversial moral standing as factors of objection. This comes regardless of the state’s lottery collecting hundreds of millions per year.
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 in the first year and $9m over the very first 5 years, and this assumed the state would have 3 racetracks, not 5. From that, the state and nearby communities would acquire $1.4bn in tax income in the very first five years.
By striking down horse race betting, Georgia is putting a pause on advancing toward a future with widespread sports betting. This has been the trend of the nation in recent years as states continue to push for legalization and, following passing legislation, incorporate betting with other facets of sports.
The Georgia legislature has not successfully passed gambling legislation considering that 1992. The Home has been especially unreceptive, though Residence Speaker David Ralston not too long ago said there was elevated interest in the matter.
“There is an appetite this session that I hadn’t observed before to do one thing,” Ralston stated in January.
Senate Bill 142, one more sports betting-related piece of legislation, is nonetheless creating rounds in the Home. Georgia horse race betting could be revisited if it comes to a vote.