Industry Reports

Slot Machines Addition Will Not Help Idaho Racing Sector, Initiative’s Proponents Say

The opponents of slot machines in the state of Idaho claim that “historical horse racing terminals”, as Proposition 1 supporters call them, will not save racing.

According to Jonathan Krutz, who is a marketing and economics lector at Boise State University, what the proposal actually does is calling for local voters to make slot machines legal. Mr. Krutz further explained that these machines are very much like the terminals that are available in Worley-based Coeur d’Alene Casino.

The proponents of the “historical horse racing” initiative which is part of the November ballot claim that players are able to analyze racing forms and even view races’ full versions. The ones against the initiative, however, disagree. Mr. Krutz has shared his observations people gambling the machines at the time when the latter were available at Garden City’s Les Bois track several years ago. He said that nobody actually used the machines for betting on horse races, as they would rather hit the machine’s button only.

The slot machines in question, which have also been known as “historical racing terminals”, have a small display that shows the result of a certain race. However, there is hardly anyone who use them to place bets on races.

The above-mentioned initiative is pushed by Treasure Valley Racing. Reportedly, it is focused on bringing a new life to live racing to Les Bois Park. The machines, however, could be installed at facilities which feature no less than eight racing dates scheduled.

Historical Horse Racing Initiative Deceits Idaho Voters

Considering that the opinions regarding the above-mentioned machines in the state of Idaho are diametrically opposed, chances that so-called Proposition 1 is taken to court in case it passes, are pretty high.

Under the provisions of Idaho’s constitution, gambling is currently allowed in the forms of pari-mutuel betting and a state lottery. This basically means that betting on live horse races is permitted across the state but slot machines are banned, with the only exceptions being made for the terminals being offered in tribal casinos.

The ones against the “historical horse racing” ballot initiative have protested against a massive state-wide advertising campaign aimed at promoting the proposition. According to them, the campaign is used as a deceit only to make local voters legalize forms of gambling which are clearly suspended under the state’s constitution.

“Horse racing is legal in Idaho, and people can even bet on horses. So why aren’t they doing it? It’s because nobody is showing up to watch. It’s a dead business.” – Jonathan Krutz said.

The anti-slot machines campaigners do not believe that the addition of such slot machines would be beneficial for state’s economy either. Mr. Krutz shared that the jobs which are likely to be created as a result of the initiative would mostly be part-time and seasonal ones with relatively low wages, which makes them not exactly the kind of jobs that Idaho’s Department of Commerce is aimed at bringing to the state’s economy.