California Increases Takeouts…Is Raising Taxes in a Down Economy Anyway to Treat a Punter?

This week’s Let It HOT TOPIC comes from Steve Andersen of Daily Racing Form…take a read and VOICE AN OPINION!


California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill on Thursday that will increase the takeout on exotic bets on California races to fund an increase in overnight purses beginning this winter.

The announcement of the governor’s signature was made by Keith Brackpool, chairman of the California Horse Racing Board, at Thursday’s meeting of the board. Brackpool said the governor would make a formal statement about the bill Friday.

The legislation was approved on Aug. 31 and sent to Schwarzenegger’s office on Sept. 8.
Last November, while attending races at Hollywood Park, Schwarzenegger indicated that he wanted to sign legislation in 2010 to aid the state’s horse racing industry. Schwarzenegger leaves office at the end of this year.

The takeout increase will take effect on Dec. 26. The bill will raise the takeout on two-horse exotic wagers by 2 percent, from the current 20.68 percent to 22.68 percent, and increase the takeout on bets requiring three or more horses by 3 percent, from 20.68 to 23.68 percent. Takeout rates for win, place, and show betting will remain unchanged at 15.43 percent.

The legislation states that revenue from the higher takeout must go to fund overnight purses. The measure could raise $25 million to $30 million annually, racing officials said during the summer.

The legislation permits the launch of exchange betting in the state in 2012 and has provisions to promote the Breeders’ Cup financially when the event is run in California.


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