Horseless Racing Stumbles

What has been called, “historical racing, instant racing, and video parimutuel” is being questioned by lawmakers and investigators who claim it is nothing more than slot machines.

Police in Post Falls and the Ada County Sheriff are investigating whether or not the machines are legal. The GUARDIAN has looked at the machines which sport cherries, melons, lemons and bars.

We say the devices are thinly disguised slots and slots are banned by the Idaho Constitution. Sheriff Gary Raney has been investigating the operation at Les Bois Park and is concerned enough to seek a judicial ruling about the legality of the machines. It looks like the Ada Prosecutor will being heading to court at Raney’s behest.

Ada County leases Les Bois to a private operator and if the slots are declared illegal, the operators will be in breach of contract. The 2013 legislature approved historic racing, but legislators now say what they approved is not what they got.

As we see it, the real issue is not gambling. The real issue is defending the Idaho Constitution. It will be interesting to see if Guv Butch is up for the same vigor he has displayed defending the constitution when it dealt with gay marriage.

Finally, there is a big risk in allowing a single group to have a monopoly on slots.

Click on CONTINUE READING for links to several previous posts.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Call the machines what you want, at the end of the day the problem we have is legislators thinking they know better than me, on how I should spend my money. If I as a legal adult wish to waste money on gambling, then I should be allowed to do so. It is a farce for the state to pretend to protect the public from the evils of gambling, while the same state promotes the participation in and receives profit from the state-owned gambling monopoly, the lottery.

  2. If the Legislature had done their due diligence in the first place, they would have realized this. It’s not like the information is difficult to find out. Now we have a bunch of businesses that laid out money for the machines, and what happens to them?

  3. Frankenstein Government
    Jan 23, 2015, 6:45 pm

    I am in awe that the state has no problem stealing your money in lottery sales or horse racing simulcasts- but finds slot machines “illegal.”

    Thank Gawd for the state. Without them- I wouldn’t know which thieving enterprise I wanted to patronize.

  4. They should doze the entire block and build a mall anchored by a Target store. Mega tax-money for Garden city if they do.

    Got no idea why you’d want to gamble here when you can fly to LAS on pocket change… Hotels are cheap, food is excellent, it’s warm, and the hookers are licensed too.

  5. You can tell how corrupt a country, state, or city is by the number of laws on the books. The more laws, the more corrupt. Laws are a method of control to assure that those who are wealthy, get richer, while those who are poor stay poor. If a state lottery is ok, all gambling should be ok. The only laws should be very simple. Don’t harm others or their property, or the wild areas. Laws are a way to take down someone who is not conforming to the imagined norm, and apply to the poor often, but rarely the wealthy.

  6. Rod+in+SE+Boise
    Jan 25, 2015, 5:21 pm

    They ARE slot machines and they SHOULD be legal.

    Some slot machines at Native American casinos in some areas are (or were) based on historical bingo games.

  7. If anyone truly wanted to know for sure if these are slot machines or not then they would quit the speculation games and ask both the Nevada Gaming Commission (good enforcement experts) and Bally’s who builds the most slot machines. Chances are both will say yes to these machines.

    EDITOR NOTE– There is also an Idaho Attorney General opinion on file which clearly defines slots. These machines fall within that definition.

  8. What we need is some consistency in gambling laws. I wouldn’t oppose legalization, but I do oppose the “it’s ok if the state sanctions it.” (lottery) or “it’s ok if we can benefit the horse racing business for the County.” But not ok for anyone else.

    EDITOR NOTE–It’s all about the CONSTITUTION! Either defend it or change it, but don’t ignore or subvert it.

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: