Horse racing a good bet for Georgia
This year’s “world series of horse racing” — The Breeder’s Cup — was worth $53.3 million to local businesses, 1.2 million viewers to ESPN and paid out $25.5 million in purses over 15 races.
And all of that benefited Louisville, Ky.
These millions of dollars and millions of viewers can belong to Georgia instead of Kentucky. Here’s how to do it:
During this year’s session, I introduced a constitutional amendment (HR186) to allow for horse racing with pari-mutuel wagering. If passed, the voters would cast their ballots on the amendment in the Nov. 6, 2012, general election.
Let’s get the “gambling” issue out of the way. This amendment does not allow for casinos, dog racing, slot machines or Elvis wedding chapels. All of that can stay in Vegas. So what makes pari-mutuel wagering different from gambling?
In simple terms, when you gamble, you are betting against the “house,” and the odds are stacked against you. With pari-mutuel, you are betting against the other bettors in each race. If you bet $1 on a horse, the “track” will take 18 cents to operate the track, pay taxes, purses to the horses and other overhead, while you share 82 cents with each of the other bettors. That is the “mutual” part of pari-mutuel wagering.