Georgians want to legalise betting on horse racing in the state, or at least be allowed to vote on such a proposal, a recent survey has suggested. Published by a group of gambling expansion proponents, the poll shows that 72% of those questioned favour a state-wide vote on allowing racetrack gambling in the state. If you do your math correctly, you’ll figure out that’s only 27% that reject of the idea of letting the public have a say in the ballot box.
Conducted by Landmark Communications for the Georgia Horseracing Coalition, the survey was released Friday. As the Augusta Chronicle reports, the poll showed the strongest argument for it was the jobs racing could bring.
An Atlanta developer who chairs the Horseracing Coalition, Hal Barry, said Atlanta’s population and distance from tracks in Kentucky and Florida make it an attractive market for a complex. “The economic impact is big,” he said in the report.
As the poll hit the local headlines on Friday, Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy also issued a report showing horse racing would bring financial benefits to the state.
It said: “Overall, we find compelling evidence supporting arguments that legalizing pari-mutuel wagering would produce a broad range of economic benefits. Growing the state equine industry and increasing state revenues would be the two most likely possibilities. Broader impacts are also possible that would contribute to enhancing Georgia as a destination state and possibility creating a more positive synergy between urban and rural areas of the state.”
Alleviating any concerns that the poll was bias – president of Landmark, Mark Rountree, said his goal was not to sway the results to please his client. “We phrased these questions neutral, and the results are very positive,” he said.