Instant horse racing earning big bucks, drawing concerns Idaho might have been gamed

Industries Associated Press

Idaho racing officials say instant racing machines are succeeding in helping boost Idaho's declining horse industry. However, critics are pointing out that the machines may be cleverly disguised illegal slot machines.

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Idaho Racing Commission Executive Director Frank Lamb says machines used at places like Les Bois Park — located just outside of Boise — are supposed to look like slot machines.

But because the machines rely on a pari-mutuel betting system, he says bettors end up betting against each other and not the house.

State Rep. Steve Harris counters that the machines should face increased scrutiny because players are not betting all at once.

To date, Les Bois Park has earned more than $1.4 million in six months since the machines were installed.