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Horse racing resolution one step closer to vote
Conyers' GIHP among areas of interest for industry
Gerorgia International Horsepark

See the full resolution and wording:
House Resolution 186

A House panel has approved legislation that could pave the way for pari-mutuel betting on horse racing in Georgia.

The constitutional amendment would allow voters in local communities to decide whether to allow gambling on horse racing.

Conyers city manager Tony Lucas and Georgia International Horse Park director Jennifer Bexley were among the 40 guests and 10 speakers invited to come before the panel.

"They’re interested in us because of the Georgia International Horse Park and what we have there," Lucas said before the Conyers city council Wednesday night.

"There were a lot of positive comments. No negative comments relative to pari-mutuel betting and the horse racing industry," said Lucas. "It's not just about the horse betting. It’s about the industry itself and the tens of thousands of jobs it could create in Georgia and the millions of dollars of revenue."

The measure from state Rep. Harry Geisinger, of Roswell, would allow the betting proceeds to be used to pay for college scholarships, pre-K programs or trauma care.

The bill, HR 186, cleared the House Regulated Industries Committee on Wednesday and now heads to the House Rules Committee, which will decide if it makes it a House vote. It would need a two-thirds supermajority.

House Speaker David Ralston has said it would be premature to approve horse racing legislation without having an informed discussion with the public.


In other Georgia International Horse Park business:

The Horse Park will be constructing new offices closer to the main entrance on Centennial Olympic Parkway.

A construction contract with Ray Jones, Inc. for $482,099 was approved by the Conyers City Council on Wednesday. The contract includes 6.5 percent profit and overhead of $29,424.

The current GIHP offices, located in a house near the Carriage House, will be demolished.

"We're thrilled about the new location," said Bexley. "It puts us where we need to be" out front, she said.


 The Associated Press contributed to this article.