Lawmakers say they were misled; rethink 'historical horse racing'

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Historical horse racing machines are currently going in at Les Bois Park thanks to a law passed last year permitting them. But now some lawmakers say they're having second thoughts, because they feel they were misled.

Historical horse racing uses a machine that stores hundreds of thousands of past races that people can bet on. The only problem is that it's not exactly the experience lawmakers say they were counting on.

"Some committee members last year thought you were actually going to be watching an actual horse race," said Rep. Tom Loertscher who serves as Chairman of the House's State Affairs Committee.

In reality, bettors can fast forward through the races and play a game in less than ten seconds.

"When you look at the machines, it looks an awful lot like a slot machine where you can bet every few seconds and just keep rolling the machine," Loertscher told KBOI 2News.

Loertscher says the State Affairs Committee was also told there would be no more than 50 of the machines at Les Bois. But now lawmakers say they're finding out there will be many more than that.

Garden City Mayor John Evans says this seems an awful lot like, "A faade for bringing casino style gambling machines and getting those introduced into the state."

Evans says he warned lawmakers it would be this way. But he tells KBOI he hopes now that lawmakers are seeing what he says he saw all along, they'll consider changing the law allowing historical horse race gambling.

Rep. Brent Crane says the State Affairs Committee is looking at ways to go about changing the law to where the machines would still be allowed, but would work more like lawmakers thought they would.