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.
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