The arguments for the repeal of the instant racing machines closely resembles those used by some Eastern states after the Sandy Hook shooting tragedy. After the shooting, some state legislatures attempted to ban semi-automatic weapons, which cosmetically resembled arms used by the military. This resemblance was things such as rails to mount flashlights, different sights, folding stocks or other equipment.
Our Legislature has decided this reasoning applies to the instant racing machines that they allowed two years ago. They were misled, apparently, because cosmetically the machine they examined did not have the lights, bells and whistles the current machines use. The actual pari-mutuel betting operation of the machine is unchanged, as far as I’m aware.
This leads me to believe there is some credence to the claim that the Native American casinos are backing the repeal to protect there own casino interests. If folding stocks and attachable flashlights make a weapon ban OK, and lights and bells make a pari-mutuel machine a slot machine, then form is more important than function. This hands a victory to Native American casinos, where their own machines don’t need to pass the same test. It also has the potential to restrict firearms if the argument holds.
Jim Mansur, Boise
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