Horse Race Gambling Finally Approved in South Carolina

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The long-awaited horse racing bill has been passed in the US state of South Carolina, prompting a significant response in the industry.

A state which has long been opposed to any form of gambling, apart from non-profit raffles and the state lottery, which was founded in 2001, the passing of this bill has certainly come as somewhat of a surprise in the US.

Indeed, House Bill 3514 was passed with 54 votes split equally between Republicans and Democrats, which meant an almost unanimous decision.

What Are the Details of the Bill?

As a result of the bill being passed, it means that a gambling commission will be formed in the state, with a 10 percent tax bill likely to be imposed on operators that offer horse racing betting, with a maximum of three being allowed.

I am just happy for so many people across the state that are working in this industry that get up every day and go and train horses or go and breed horses. I think this gives them hope.

Russell OttState Republican South Carolina

One of the main reasons for the passing of this bill in South Carolina is that equine breeders have been drawn to other states that have provided incentives, with these often financed by profits from gambling.

It has subsequently seen owners of equine training centers pass the bill as a means of ensuring that the industry can be given a much-needed facelift without having to directly utilize public funds.

What this means is that by introducing the horse racing bill, there are many possible financial incentives.

What Is the Likely Response?

Following the passing of this bill, it could well lead to a surge in horse racing gambling interest in the state, especially considering how many breeders there are.

However, one major roadblock could prevent the bill from being signed into law. The last hurdle (which in many cases is usually a formality) is that it needs to be signed by the state’s governor - Henry McMaster, who has long opposed any form of legal gambling.

It is understood that when this reaches his desk, McMaster would reject it, which means that there will need to be many compelling arguments.

Initial estimates have predicted that the state could generate revenues of between $385,000 to $1.9 million annually for the state, which, ultimately, is likely not going to be precise enough to convince the governor.

The state will certainly wait with bated breath to see what happens, though unless there is a significant rally of support by the public for this bill to be signed and passed into law, it could well be stopped in its tracks.

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