California Bill to Increase Takeout Passes

A bill that would raise the takeout on California exotic wagers by a half of a percentage point was passed unanimously by the California Assembly Monday.

Assembly Bill 900 by Jerome Horton (D-Inglewood) is designed to raise about $10 million to help California horsemen offset the cost of workers' compensation insurance. It passed by a vote of 78-0 and will now be sent to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Horton bill increases the takeout on exotic bets (in California, all wagers except win, place or show) from 20.18% to 20.68% in Thoroughbred races and from 20.38% to 20.88% in Quarter Horse races. The Standardbred races would increase conventional takeout from 16.43% to 17.43%.

The measure passed the state Senate by a 31-4 vote in September. Schwarzenegger will have 30 days to sign it into law.

Officials feel the bill will significantly drop workers' compensation insurance rates that are paid by owners and trainers. Horsemen, who currently pay $35 to $65 per $100 of payroll and $105 to $173 per jockey ride, could see their rates drop to $20 per $100 of payroll and $50 per mount.