Betting on horse races could be legal in Georgia soon

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News 12 First at Five/ Friday, Jan. 23, 2015

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) --- It's not a casino, but it's one step closer. How would you like to be able to bet on horses here in the peach state? Horse racing could be in the future for Georgia and as News 12's Jorge Lopez reports it could be a big deal here in Augusta.

Horse betting could soon be a realty in Georgia and supporters say that if it comes to the state it could bring a lot of green.

Fans of the Kentucky Derby say it's the most exciting two minutes in sports. Soon you could experience the same and even make some money off it.

"When you have a bet whether it's a $2.00 bet or a $2,000 bet it gives you a stake in that horse," said Jake Sadler who is the Vice President of Dogwood Stable in Aiken, SC,

A state senator from Georgia wants a piece of the pie by legalizing horse race betting throughout the state.

Sadler's Dogwood Stable is so close to Augusta that he believes Aiken's horse racing community would bring business right across the river.

"Most of the horses in South Carolina are younger horses and they leave South Carolina because there is no racing and having racing in Georgia would be a great boom for that local economy," Sadler said.

More farmers would have a chance to sell hay along with greater opportunities for veterinarians and blacksmiths in Georgia, not to mention the extra $10 to $20 million dollars for education and up to $30 million dollars in tax revenue the Georgia Horse Racing Coalition says the new law would bring.

The Georgia Horse Racing Coalition says that 72% of people polled were in favor of horse betting coming to Georgia.

Now this is all just in the early stages. An Atlanta senator will present the bill next week. While the Georgia Racing Coalition won't pick where a track would go if the bill passes they think Augusta is a great place to consider especially if they could schedule a race just before The Masters.