Is Horse Racing Alive in Georgia? Could Be

Proposal to allow horse racing in Georgia clears Senate panel

Georgia has taken a step toward allowing horse racing in the state.

A Senate panel on Wednesday gave approval to a bill that would allow up to three horse-racing tracks in Georgia.

The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Brandon Beach, said Wednesday’s 5-2 vote was the first time the proposal has cleared a Senate committee.

“It’s a big step,” the Alpharetta Republican said. “I feel real good about it.”

Beach, who is running for the 6th Congressional District seat, said he envisions a racetrack with a mix of uses similar to the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park that would be a boon for the economy in Middle and South Georgia.

Beach proposed legislation in two parts.

Senate Resolution 84 would put a question on an upcoming ballot asking Georgia voters whether betting on horse racing should be legal. Senate Bill 45 would create a Georgia Horse Racing Commission that would be tasked with approving up to three licenses and regulating the facilities.

“Rural Georgia will benefit from this,” Beach said. “There’s horse farms, hay farms, breeding and auctions. It will create thousands of jobs.”

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