Today, a crowd of former and current elected officials in Kootenai County sent a letter to the governor and numerous legislators opposing the "instant-racing machines" currently in use at Greyhound Park and Event Center in Kootenai County.
The machines appear in almost every sense to be slot machines, but because the result of each spin is pegged to historical horse races, they're allowed in Idaho. But lately they've come under fire.
The letter has been signed by a bevy of well-known North Idahoans, including Mayor Steve Widmyer, Coeur d’Alene City Council President Woody McEvers, former Mayor Sandi Bloem, Coeur d'Alene Public Schools Superintendent Matt Handelman, former Kootenai County Sheriff Rocky Watson, and North Idaho College President Joe Dunlap.
We are writing to you to voice our collective concern regarding Vegas-style casino gaming recently introduced at off-reservation locations such as Post Falls, Boise and Idaho Falls under the pretense of wagering on historical horse races. This new form of casino gaming, called Instant Racing, has been determined in several states to be nothing more than illegal video slot machines attempting to pass as horse racing. If Instant Racing is not stopped, we could see these installed in one location in every county in the state.
We believe it is your duty to uphold the Idaho State Constitution and take immediate action to stop illegal activity occurring in the State. We encourage you to take a thorough look at these new machines and stop these Instant Racing Machines before they spread to every county.
In particular, the signatories of the letter worry the machines could "directly harm" the Couer d'Alene Tribe, who are allowed to use slot machines, and Idaho's other Indian tribes.
The Tribe has kept its promises with the state and has gone above and beyond to provide for and
partner with communities throughout all of Idaho, providing millions of dollars in donations and
services to our schools, transportation infrastructure, healthcare needs and other causes. Let’s not
jeopardize our important relationship with the tribes in Idaho.
Read the complete letter here.
CDA Instant-Racing Opposition Letter