Ada County wants to hear from you about instant horse racing

Statesman staffNovember 12, 2013 

Tell us what you think

After initially saying that enough public review had occurred, the Ada County Commission decided Tuesday to hear from citizens on the proposal to bring a new type of gambling to the county-owned Les Bois racetrack. A public hearing is set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

Why the change?

Since Treasure Valley Racing has an existing lease agreement with Ada County and horse racing-associated activities are allowed under the lease, Commission Chair Dave Case said he initially viewed the addition of instant racing machines as procedural. But after hearing from the public, he reconsidered. "I got to thinking about it and looking at it a different way," Case said. "We do need to get this out to the public and let them voice their opinion. It is important." Fellow Commissioners Jim Tibbs and Rick Yzaguirre agreed.

Olive branch to Garden City

On Tuesday the commission set, then reset, a public hearing time and date that didn't conflict with Garden City's council meeting, so council members could attend. The city has chastised the county for not getting public input on "casino-style" gambling inside its city.

Have your say, too

If you want to learn more or comment, go to the hearing at the Ada County Courthouse, 200 W. Front St. Evening parking adjacent to the courthouse is free.

What is instant racing?

Also called historical horse racing, it is a gambling system using devices resembling slot machines that allow players to wager on video replays of previously run races. The player puts money in the machine (10 cents to $5), selects a race and receives statistical information on the horses, their trainers and jockeys; names and racetrack location are not revealed. The system has proved popular in Kentucky, bringing in more than $350 million in about 18 months.

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