The governor of Idaho, C.L. ‘Butch’ Otter is calling for the reinstatement of instant racing terminals in the state but with stricter regulations this time around. It was just a short time ago that the Supreme Court of Idaho ruled that this type of betting machines are to be considered illegal due to Otter’s decision to veto the legislation banning them was not returned in time. A bill automatically becomes a law in Idaho if the bill is not vetoed and then sent back within a specific time frame.
On Wednesday, Otter released a statement on the subject which stated he had chosen to veto the legislation to try and avoid hurting the industry involving horse racing. Despite the ruling of the court, Otter does not plan on turning his back on the industry.
Otter stated: “Let’s start with the steps I laid out in my veto message last winter: creation of a State gaming commission to set operating rules that are sensitive to community and industry concerns, restoration of horse racing services—including pari-mutuel terminals—but with tighter regulations on the location of the machines and operations.”
With the instant “historical racing” machines, bettors have the option to place a wagers on horse races without having access detailed information of the historic race being wagered on. The terminals are similar to slot machines as they have sounds, animations and spinning wheels. In Idaho, pari-mutuel betting is considered legal, unlike slot games, as bettors are wagering against one another and a portion of the win is provided to the house.
Jon Hanian, a spokesman for Otter, stated that the governor plans on elaborating more on his intentions with the industry in the state when he conducts his address this January to state lawmakers. Hanian stated that the governor is not calling for a return of instant racing explicitly but is stating the debate continues.