The state is trying hard to get horse racing betting legalized as soon as possible. It is an irony. If you did not know yet, gambling is illegal in Utah; however, lawmakers are putting effort to make horse racing and betting legal by all means. This bill is SB181.
Being a horse racer himself, Sen. David Hinkins, R-Orangeville, is pushing for this change. He is not only sponsoring SB181 bill but favoring an agreement within it. The bill would allow the voters of the counties to decide for themselves whether wagers on horse races should be allowed or “parimutuel betting.” Once this bill is passed, it is all up to a majority.
There is more than a promising response according to the senator. Hinkins said, “Rural Utah would love it.” He also said, “There are some counties that are going to love it.” It clearly indicates that it is not just a handful of few but a good number of them are in favor. He has also added that the counties will be keeping the revenue that is generated from these wagers which are a sure good point. The race winners will also be awarded a purse on every win. There is enough for making this a good SB181, it seems.
Economy in Development
All the revenue and awarding are to attract businesses in Utah. For a long time, the rural areas have seen little economic development, and legalizing horse race betting is a sure step in the right direction. It will help bring the breeders back too, he explains. Hinkins said, “I think we ought to keep our economy here.” When there is so much to gain, there is definitely a boost to Utah’s economy.
The main reason Utah, a primary state of horse breeders, has seen a decline in the economy is because of this ban on horse race betting. This has forced horse breeders to move to surround states to keep their skills, earn an income, and run their families. Rural Utah has been hit the most with the traditional skill of horse breeding turning futile because of this ban, thus, eventually bringing down the economy.
Being a horse racer himself and arguing for the SB181 seemed to others a contradictory thing. However, since he owns many racehorses and has a good number of friends in the horse racing industry, this move was seen as a “favor” and not a real need.
However, for years people in this profession have been wondering when they can reap the benefits of their own culture and tradition. They have some of the best horse breeders and yet are far away from making wagers on horse races.
Hinkins said, “Utah horses race all over the country. We’re very well-known. But like I said, we’re disadvantaged”. This tone clearly indicates the disappointment that despite having been known for your skills around the world, you are an unknown personality in your own home. It could not be more ironical than this.
What Happened in Utah in 1992?
This is not the first time though for Utah. A ballot voting had been conducted in 1992 as well to legalize the parimutuel betting. But, it failed. The influence from the opposing groups included the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which lead to the failure.
This is a clean entertainment, as per the senator and he hopes for the best. Having been around for 200 years, Hinkins said, “It’s the Kentucky Derby, you know.”