CTBA Looks to Legislation, Industry Improvements

Drive-through windows at simulcasting facilities and wagering from home were just some of the ideas discussed at the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association meeting in late March. The association tackled a number of issues on its agenda, but primarily dealt with ways to try to improve the industry.

Most notably, the CTBA hopes several bills drafted in the state Assembly will be approved by legislators later this year. The organization helped put together a bill that would eliminate the sales and use tax on Thoroughbred breeding stock.

CTBA general manager Doug Burge said California should follow the lead of other states and abolish the tax because it is a deterrent for some owners who want to breed their horses in the Golden State.

"We need to be on a level playing field with the other states that have already banned the tax," Burge said.

The CTBA also hopes the second generation of the account wagering bill will be passed later this year. Last year, Gov. Gray Davis vetoed the bill, which would allow people to bet from their homes.

Racing-themed legislation hasn't been brought to the Capitol floor yet because of the state's energy crisis. Burge believes some of the bills will be presented in May.

CTBA members agree that horse racing needs to attract more people and get more media attention. Some members would like to see more "user-friendly" options, such as drive-through windows at wagering sites, made available to customers.