The Georgia Senate blocked a proposal that would have allowed voters to decide whether to legalize pari-mutuel wagering. Residents of the peach state can still jump in the Thoroughbred game with Racing Factions, LLC.
Georgia Downs regrets that bills to allow voters to decide whether to allow horse racing in our state were prevented from coming before the Georgia Senate for a vote during the 2016 session. Not only would the legislation have created an industry with 5,000 jobs and a $500 million economic impact, it would have produced more than $15 million for educational needs.
With developers standing ready to build a world-class, $750 million, mixed-use track in Georgia, the GHRC is very disappointed that the bills were blocked by Republican leadership and interests who did not want the issue to be put before voters. All of our polls—several conducted in leadership districts—show us that constituents want to be able to decide this issue for themselves and that the majority would approve it.
The GHRC was denied a chance to bring this project to Georgia voters, and one of the greatest job-producing and economic opportunities available to this state is lost. We see this as a great loss for our state and for students.
As we discuss our next course of action, we want to thank Sen. Brandon Beach and his staff, the lawmakers who supported the legislation and the many racing enthusiasts in Georgia who took the time to contact their legislators. We appreciate all you have done.