Idaho’s Horse Racing Revival Efforts Reveals Divisions
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The fight over Idaho's faltering horse racing industry has turned into a face-off between the Legislature and the governor's office. Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill emailed Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's office Tuesday asking if he really wanted the Idaho Racing Commission to have a "showdown" over lucrative betting machines known as instant horse racing terminals.
The two-line email included a link to a news report of the Texas Legislature defunding its own state racing commission for bringing back instant horse racing without legislative approval. Instant horse racing allows bettors to place wagers on prior horse races that are videotaped with no identifiable information about the horses or results.
Idaho's Legislature banned the practice two years ago. Now there's talk of reviving the practice through a rule-making process, which would require the governor's approval. Hill says his main concern is protecting the separation of powers.