The thoroughbred racing enterprise has in no way gotten much traction in Georgia because of the anti-gambling faction or, in different words, the ever-present church lobby. Never thoughts that Georgia added the lottery in 1993; horse racing is visible as more sinful than a scratch-off game. So a country with great weather for a race track has been, how do you assert, stalled.
The political weather, but, maybe changing inside the Bible Belt.
“The Bible thumpers are a little tough on this. However they’re getting older, and their children aren’t thumping pretty so heavily,” said Dr. Susan Harding, a popular practitioner in south Georgia who owns 21 thoroughbreds. “Yes, this country wishes horse racing.”
Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) is sponsoring a pari-mutuel bill that has made it out of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee to the Rules Committee. “That has in no way took place before,” Beach said.
All he had to do became say the magic phrase.
The regulation Beach is sponsoring is named the “Rural Georgia Jobs and Growth Act.” It is a veteran circulate via a veteran pol due to the fact while voters see it at the ballot as a constitutional amendment, they may be going to think jobs, no longer horses.
“I’m looking to create an equine industry right here,” Beach said. “I assume we have the proper weather for a -month (racing) schedule. It’s too hot in Florida and too bloodless in Kentucky and New York. Horse racing is a perfect component. However, I’m seeking to develop horse farms, hay farms, and breeding and auctions.
“The real money is within the breeding and auctions. However, you may have the breeding without the pony racing thing. We want to build a Keeneland-kind global-class facility that we may want to get a Breeders Cup. For each horse in the kingdom of Georgia, they inform me it’s 20 jobs.”
Harding has skilled horses, and she or he said she sends them to tracks inside the Midwest and Northeast. While she maintains her medical exercise with an eighty-hour workweek, she can’t accompany the horses. She stated trainers lollygag along with her horses and do now not get them in sufficient races.
“They go to remote tracks, and you by no means get to peel them,” Harding stated. “The instructor sits on them for six weeks, and that they go instantly downhill. Knock them out of the gates, get them a gate card, and race. When I ship a horse to the tune, they may be prepared to race.”
The pari-mutuel bill—once more, the “Rural Georgia Jobs and Growth Act”—is connected to a constitutional change to be voted on in November.
Casinos have to be a part of the equation because maintaining thoroughbred music is costly. Gov. Brian Kemp has reputedly dropped his competition to an invoice sponsoring casinos in Georgia.
If the legislation for horse racing and casinos is accepted, the state has to make certain the horsemen are cut into the on line casino’s haul of cash. The nation of Georgia will call for at the least 25% of gross revenue for taxes from the casinos, and the legislature desires to use a number of the one’s budget to the renovation of a tune.
“It’s no longer reasonably-priced strolling a tune,” Dr. Harding said. “You want to get all the playing in that you may, and that’s where the on line casino is available in.”
There is some other problem. In Florida, it has come to be common for a “song” to open, but it’s miles, not anything extra than a starter conserving a red rag, that is dropped before nags jog 30 yards on a dirt route. It’s a horse race, and that satisfies the country regulation that permits a casino to perform 50 yards away. Georgia has to avoid that sham of “Racino.”