Published Friday, December 21, 2012
Should horse racing and pari mutuel betting be allowed in Georgia?
There has been talk about that issue in our state for a couple of decades or more, but there has never been enough support for the issue to put it on the ballot and let the people decide.
On Friday, the Senate Study Committee on Horse Racing met at the state Capitol in Atlanta. Among those at that meeting was Cowetan Hal Barry of the Georgia Horse Racing Coalition. He favors horse racing in Georgia.
Horse racing likely has more support in our state today than ever before. Before it can become a reality a constitutional amendment would have to be approved by the people. Before voters can decide, the Georgia General Assembly must pass a resolution calling for the amendment to be put on the ballot. That resolution would require a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate.
Apparently the idea before the Senate committee is to muster enough support to get the constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot.
While the climate has changed about gambling issues and horse racing in our state, it still may be difficult to get the two-third majority in both the House and the Senate to get the measure on the ballot in 2014.
We would like to see the measure put on the ballot and Georgia voters get to decide the issue. The revenue generated by horse racing and pari mutuel betting could be a significant revenue stream for our state.