Idaho Lawmakers Listen To Instant Horse Racing Testimony

Mar 12, 2015

An instant racing machine at the the Greyhound Park and Event Center in Post Falls.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

The legality over Idaho's contentious slot-like machines —known as instant horse racing terminals— sparked lengthy pleas on Wednesday from ranchers, horse breeders and jockeys arguing that removing the machines would cue the end to their industry.

The House State Affairs Committee listened to five hours of testimony regarding a bill that would repeal roughly 250 historical horse racing terminals currently installed in Idaho. The committee has not yet scheduled when they will vote on the bill.

The bill has already passed in the Senate.

Supporters say historic horse racing— wagering on a previous horse race with no identifiable information— is illegal because the machines resemble too closely to a slot machine.

But opponents countered Wednesday that the profits from the machine's limited time in Idaho are already providing economic relief to sustain their industry.