Georgia state Rep. Harry Geising recently said the timing’s not right regarding his proposed bill to amend the state constitution to allow racing and casino gambling. “Tell them to hold their breath until next year,” he said. That’s because Governor Nathan Deal is far ahead in polls, so he may not want to address this potentially controversial issue until after the election. Then, racing advocates said, most likely he will not stand in their way.
Still, even if racing becomes a reality in Georgia, supporters seem to be split on how to use the proceeds. One group of racing advocates wants racing tax revenues to support education; another group wants to apply them to rolling back property taxes. The possibility exists than one of Deal’s opponents could adopt either of those proposals. Or, an opponent could emphasize the job-creation aspect of expanded gambling. Phyllis Turner, who recently became a member of the Georgia Horse Racing Committee, said, “We’ve got to create some opportunities for students, and this is a way to do it.”