Bill Seeks Takeout Hike to Cover Workers' Comp Costs

Legislation introduced by a California assemblyman would increase the pari-mutuel takeout on exotics wagers in Thoroughbred races by 0.5% to raise money to cover some workers' compensation costs. Quarter Horse and Standardbred takeout also would be increased to cover costs.

Assemblyman Jerome Horton introduced the bill, which was amended in the state Senate Sept. 4. The session concludes Sept. 12.

Workers' comp has been a burning issue in California in recent years. Horsemen's associations and racetracks have worked to lower costs paid by trainers.

The bill says action is needed "to protect the California horse racing industry, which is already suffering from significant displacement due to extreme increases in workers' compensation costs."

According to the bill, the takeout on exotics would rise from 20.18% to 20.58%. There would be no change in the 15.43% takeout rate for win, place, and show bets in Thoroughbred races. Any excess revenue from the takeout hike would go to organizations that fund off-site stabling.

The exotics takeout on Quarter Horse races would go from 20.38% to 20.88%, according to the bill, while the "conventional" takeout--win, place, and show bets--on Standardbred races would go from 16.43% to 17.43% The additional revenue would be used to cover workers' comp costs, and any excess funds would go toward purses for both breeds.

Pari-mutuel takeout on conventional wagers currently ranges from 15.43% for Thoroughbred races to 16.77% at fairs in the state. For exotics wagers, it ranges from 20.18% on Thoroughbred races to 24.18% on harness races.