38 U.S. states have para mutuel horse race betting.

Will Georgia, the state where I went to college, be next?

I hope so.

Georgia has the state lottery.

Will more gambling be coming to our state? It’s possible, but probably not for a while.

Here’s why:

Horse racing in Georgia is the topic being explored by a study committee led by Roswell Republican Rep. Harry Geisinger.

The group is holding hearings around the state on pari-mutuel betting on horse racing and will made recommendations to the General Assembly by the end of the year.

There’s a possibility that Georgia voters could be allowed to vote in 2012 on whether to allow betting on horse races.

But getting the issue on 2012 ballots may be difficult.

The state must have a constitutional amendment on the issue.

That would require a two-thirds vote by state lawmakers to put the matter on the ballot for voters to decide.

Good luck there.

While we think there is support for new revenue sources — such as pari-mutuel betting — to help fund education and other needs, many conservatives will balk at adding more gambling in Georgia.

Some people believe additional gambling opportunities would cut into the state’s lottery revenue.

Others think horse race tracks would soon be followed by casinos.

So far so good, right?

Not for the more conservatives in the legislature.

Advocates of horse racing say it would raise millions in tourism revenue and create new jobs in breeding, training and medical care for horses.

 

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