The State: Letters: Equine Landscape Changing
In June of 2023, N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper signed House Bill 347 into law, granting the N.C. State Lottery Commission the authority to legalize sports and horse wagering exclusively for North Carolina residents.
This development introduced a new dynamic to the equine landscape with unique impacts to South Carolina’s equine industry.
The passage of H.347 creates a competitive environment, placing South Carolina at a disadvantage as we work to retain jobs and attract investment in our equine communities.
Our neighbor to the north joins a growing list of Southeastern states, including FL, KY, and VA, that have embraced gaming on horse-related events.
This move has enabled these states to grow their equine industries by offering large purses and attractive incentives for key stakeholders such as jockeys, trainers and horse owners.
Our state’s equine industry remains unable to replicate such incentives, meaning trainers, horses and owners will continue to move to neighboring states with more attractive financial climates.
It is crucial for the S.C. General Assembly to take meaningful steps to support S.C.’s equine community during next year’s legislative session.
The S.C. Equine Advancement Act is a promising foundation that will allow our state to build a proactive strategy to keep our horse communities vibrant and successful.
Kurt Gerald, Conway