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Idaho horsemen fight to revive instant racing

Posted at 5:36 PM, Jan 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-25 20:01:28-05
The Idaho State Racing Commission is looking for ways to reestablish instant racing in the state. Idaho banned the practice in 2015 after concerns that the instant racing terminals resemble illegal slot machines. 
 
Instant horse racing allows bettors to place wages on prior horse races with no identifiable information.
 
The commission says lack of profit from the betting machines is essentially killing the industry in Idaho. 
 
"It's had just a tremendous negative impact," Commissioner Fred Snook said. "Until we find some source to bolster the purses, we won't be able to bring racing back."  
 
Commissioners opened the topic for discussion at a meeting Wednesday.
 
John Sheldon, operator for Les Bois Park, told commissioners he believes they already have authority to allow track to use the instant terminals. Sheldon says the commission approved virtual horse racing, similar to instant racing, in 2008 through a rule-making process, and that same process could be used to approve instant racing applications.
 
Legislation to make instant horse racing legal once again in Idaho has yet to be introduced this session.