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Georgians favor racetrack gambling vote, poll says

Boosters for measure say 72 percent statewide support vote on issue

Monday, Feb. 27, 2012 6:49 AM
Last updated 9:29 PM
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ATLANTA — A group pushing legalized betting on horse races has released a poll showing 72 percent of those questioned favor a statewide vote on allowing racetrack gambling.

Just 27 percent reject the idea of letting the public have a say in the ballot box.

The poll, conducted by Landmark Communications for the Georgia Horseracing Coalition and released Friday, showed the strongest argument for it was the jobs racing could bring.

The idea that gambling is immoral proved to be a reason for more people to support it than to oppose it. Just 27 percent of those questioned oppose it on moral grounds while 41 percent said immorality was a reason in its favor.

A Georgia Senate version of legislation to legalize horse betting would designate part of the proceeds from the racetracks as going to help fund the HOPE Scholarship.

The proposed legislation specifically doesn’t allow other forms of gambling, such as casinos, although many experts say a track can’t survive financially without slot machines and poker.

Hal Barry, an Atlanta developer who chairs the Horseracing Coalition, said Atlanta’s population and distance from tracks in Kentucky and Florida make it an attractive market for a complex including a track, shopping and residences.

“The economic impact is big,” he said, dismissing concerns that the growing number of states legalizing gambling could reduce the attraction to Georgia as a gaming center for tourists.

Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy also issued a report Friday showing horse racing would bring financial benefits, although it offered no estimates.

“Overall, we find compelling evidence supporting arguments that legalizing pari-mutuel wagering would produce a broad range of economic benefits,” the university authors wrote. “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.”

The university study did not examine any negative consequences, such as predictions that crime would rise or gambling addiction would increase.

The Landmark survey of 1,038 registered voters was conducted Feb. 13. It has a 3 percent margin of error.

Veteran pollster Mark Rountree, the president of Landmark, 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.

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scorehouse
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scorehouse 02/27/12 - 11:49 am
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most states that have
Unpublished

most states that have legalized horse and dog racing in the last 20 years have seen their tracks rapid decline. if not for off track betting and video slot/poker machines, most would be closed. i'm not against it at all but casino gambling is the way to go not racing. i'm totally oppossed to using tax payer monies to fund this.

scorehouse
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scorehouse 02/27/12 - 11:50 am
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not only would casinos pay
Unpublished

not only would casinos pay for their own construction, tax revenues but much greater and consistent. horse tracks don't run 12 months a year.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 02/27/12 - 11:57 am
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The ghost of J.B. Powell is

The ghost of J.B. Powell is haunting the Georgia Legislature this year. Please do not pass these horseracing bills.

Jane18
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Jane18 02/27/12 - 12:23 pm
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Just another way for a "fool

Just another way for a "fool and his money to be parted".

seenitB4
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seenitB4 02/27/12 - 02:27 pm
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Ok LLamb...sweetie I'm going

Ok LLamb...sweetie I'm going to have to differ with ya...only have a few mins. so I'll make it quick....we will be getting the horse racing mainly because the big boys in Atla want it & also the big boys in Augusta want it too....me too btw.....I'll will help you learn to like them.....remember the good time we had at lunch sitting next to each other....weeel we can have some good times at the races too.....I'll come down & buy your ticket & a drink or two....It is coming so try to relax about it....B4 long you will maybe give up posting & just go to the races....me too....
We already have bingo-lotto & heavens all kind of gambling downtown.....heck RM gambles with his life on here almost everyday..but hey that's him......
I'm looking forward to seeing your smiling face again ....maybe we will be at the races soon!!
:)

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/27/12 - 02:33 pm
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SeenIt, haha. But, seriously,

SeenIt, haha. But, seriously, casino gambling will never be approved in the state, but I'll bet horseracing/gambling will be.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/27/12 - 02:34 pm
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Anybody watching the Showtime

Anybody watching the Showtime miniseries, "Luck?" It's about horseracing.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 02/27/12 - 02:39 pm
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Never say never

Never say never River.....things are hopping......you will see.
:)

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/27/12 - 02:42 pm
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Ummm, okay..reservation or

Ummm, okay..reservation or something maybe? Tracks can go up most anywhere though.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 02/27/12 - 02:54 pm
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72 percent of those

72 percent of those questioned favor a statewide vote on allowing racetrack gambling.

Did yall read this....72% want it.......when do we EVER get 72% wanting the same thing.....
Jobs-jobs-jobs.....people are changing ...about time.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 02/27/12 - 02:54 pm
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Well, SeenitB4, when they

Well, SeenitB4, when they build it I would be delighted to meet you at the track for a day at the races.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 02/27/12 - 02:55 pm
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Count on it sweetie....the

Count on it sweetie....the drinks are on me..:)

gotta go now....will ck in later

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 02/27/12 - 02:56 pm
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Hey, maybe they can build it

Hey, maybe they can build it at the Augusta Gardens and Golf Hall of Fame property! There is already a parking deck nearby. And since the track will be "on the river," they can start a new tradition. The winning jockey will be tossed into the river like they do with the coxswain in rowing regattas.

KSL
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KSL 02/27/12 - 08:33 pm
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Building a track is not a

Building a track is not a cheap thing. The soil has to be a certain way. Years ago the City of Aiken needed to go across one of the tracks with below ground storm drainage. The dirt that replaced the dirt removed had to be of the same consistency, "feel to the horses as their hooves pounded across it." The dirt with the right consistency had to be imported from England. You can't mess with those expensive race horses.

panamajoe98
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panamajoe98 02/28/12 - 02:27 am
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1) you need to know who

1) you need to know who commissioned the "poll" and who the pollster is. Right, seenit, 72% agreeing on anything other than sunrise and sunset is questionable.
2) The lotto was suppose to cure education woes. We're being told it's not enough. WHY?
WHY are property taxes, Federal govt subsidies, student loans and the EDUCATION LOTTO not enough?

3) Whatever they throw at us in the name of education will NEVER BE ENOUGH.

Tell your legislators enough of the charades. Stop the spending NOW. Localities may not always have all the answers, but they do more often than state and Federal legislators do.

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