After Legalizing Instant Racing, Idaho Lawmakers To Re-Evaluate The Gaming Machines

Feb 1, 2015

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers will take a second look at a gambling device they decided to allow two years ago, for something called “instant racing.”

It was supposed to be a way to give the horse racing industry a boost by letting people bet on the outcomes of old horse races. But some lawmakers are feeling duped because these machines look a lot like slot machines, and slot machines are supposed to be illegal in Idaho.

So lawmakers are taking a close look at what exactly these do, and they have a bill that would actually repeal the law that they passed before. And so the people who run these machines are feeling like the rug is being pulled out from under them.

The head of the state agency that regulates horse racing in Idaho was Frank Lamb -- until Friday, when he retired effective immediately.

Lamb testified in favor of instant racing in 2013.

The Idaho Statesman reported last week that while Lamb was in a regulatory role, he had also been working as a consultant for the horse racing industry.