Monday, September 14, 2015

Idaho shuts down "instant racing" slot machines

Posted By on Mon, Sep 14, 2015 at 10:26 AM

click to enlarge SHUT DOWN IN IDAHO: Instant racing machines won't be allowed in Idaho racetracks. - GGBMAGAZINE.COM
  • ggbmagazine.com
  • SHUT DOWN IN IDAHO: Instant racing machines won't be allowed in Idaho racetracks.
This could never happen in Arkansas. The Oaklawn lobby is too powerful. But note an Idaho Supreme Court ruling has upheld an Idaho law that banned the so-called instant racing slot machines developed by Oaklawn Park general manager Eric Jackson, in partnership with AmTote, as a stopgap entry to casino gambling before Oaklawn threw the door wide open with the "electronic games of skill" ruse (poker, blackjack, conventional slot machines).

What happened in Idaho? Pretty simple. When the emperor walks around with no clothes in Idaho, people say, "Hey, the man's nekkid."

What I mean to say is that Idaho law, like Arkansas's banned gambling. When Idaho racetracks introduced the Oaklawn-pioneered "instant racing" slot machines and claimed they were not gambling, but skilled parimutuel wagering on past races (never mind the slot-like bells and whistles and instant action stripped of any knowledge about the horses), critics said, "Hey, this is gambling!"

Some of us said that about instant racing machines and also about electronic games of skill. When a coin in the slot spins wheels and three 7s pays a jackpot, skill isn't the word that first comes to mind.

The difference is that Arkansas — for all its Bible-thumping religiosity — will challenge men and woman on moral issues, but not business powers like the racetracks. Nobody sued. The legislature winked and nodded and gave Oaklawn and Southland "games of skill."  The tracks have made millions, which has also enhanced purses for the horses and kept the dog track open against what was likely closure. 

Idaho? They know a nekkid gambling machine when they see one, even at three racetracks that said they needed the money. The legislature explicitly outlawed them and the Supreme Court upheld the law.

Side note: Indian gambling operations led the charge against instant racing in Idaho. That can help you understand why Oaklawn gambling allies have  been behind the scenes enlisting Little Rock and other public officials to fight the Quapaw Tribe's establishment of a business presence in Arkansas unless it is controlled by the city of Little Rock (meaning Charles Cella and Co.) and does NOT include gambling. Or even games of skill.

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