Horse racing is a popular sport in Georgia, with a long history of betting on the events. But with recent changes to the law, it is important to understand the rules and regulations regarding betting on horse races in the state. In this article, we will discuss the current legal landscape for horse racing in Georgia, including the types of betting that are allowed, the locations of tracks, and the various horse racing events held throughout the year.
Legal Overview of Horse Racing in GA
Horse racing bets in Georgia are regulated by the Georgia Lottery Corporation, which is responsible for licensing and regulating pari-mutuel betting. This type of betting is legal in Georgia and requires gamblers to place their bets with an authorized lottery retailer. In addition, the Georgia Racing Commission oversees the state’s horse racing industry, which includes the regulation of racetracks, the approval of racing dates, and the enforcement of state laws.
Types of Bets Allowed
The types of bets allowed in Georgia are limited to win, place, and show wagers. Win wagers involve placing a bet on a horse to win the race, while place and show wagers involve betting on a horse to finish in the top three positions. Bets can also be placed on multiple horses in a single race, known as an “exotic” bet, or on multiple races, known as a “multi-race” bet. It is important to note that all bets must be placed with an authorized lottery retailer, and that all winnings are subject to Georgia withholding taxes.
Tracks in Georgia
There are currently three horse racing tracks in Georgia: Atlanta Motor Speedway, located in Hampton; Rideaway Downs, located in Douglas; and Waycross Downs, located in Waycross. Each of these tracks holds several horse racing events throughout the year, including quarter horse races, thoroughbred races, and harness races. Additionally, there are several off-track betting locations in the state, which allow bettors to place wagers on races that are held at other tracks.
Events and Schedules
The Georgia Racing Commission publishes a racing schedule for each of the state’s tracks, which includes the dates and times of all upcoming events. These schedules can be found on the Commission’s website, and are also available at the tracks themselves. Additionally, the Georgia Horse Racing Association maintains a website with information about the various races held throughout the year, including the types of races, the purses, and the dates and times of the events.
Bonuses and Promotions
In addition to the traditional win, place, and show bets, some tracks and off-track betting locations offer additional bonuses and promotions. These can include free bet coupons, “pick six” wagers, and other bonuses that can increase a bettor’s winnings. Be sure to check with your local track or off-track betting location for information about any bonuses or promotions that may be available.
Online Betting in Georgia
At this time, online betting on horse races is not legal in Georgia. While there are a few online sites that offer betting services, these sites are not licensed or regulated by the state, and betting on them is considered illegal. As such, it is important to be aware of the laws and to only bet with authorized lottery retailers.
Safety and Security
Betting on horse races in Georgia is relatively safe and secure, as long as you are betting with an authorized lottery retailer. All bets are securely processed and winnings are paid out through the retailer. Additionally, all tracks and off-track betting locations are monitored by the Georgia Racing Commission and the Georgia Lottery Corporation, ensuring that all rules and regulations are followed.
Taxes on Winnings
Any winnings from betting on horse races in Georgia are subject to Georgia withholding taxes. This includes winnings from pari-mutuel bets, as well as any bonuses or promotions. It is important to be aware of the tax laws, as failure to report winnings can result in penalties and fees.
Betting on horse races in Georgia is legal and can be a fun and exciting way to enjoy the sport. However, it is important to understand the rules and regulations, including the types of bets allowed, the locations of tracks, and the taxes on winnings. With the right information and a bit of luck, you can be well on your way to a successful day at the races.