Monday, April 6, 2015

Otter Vetoes 'Historic Horse Racing' Gambling Devices After Pocketing Lobbyists Money

Posted By on Mon, Apr 6, 2015 at 3:59 PM

click to enlarge PATRICK SWEENEY
  • Patrick Sweeney
UPDATE: April 7, 2015

Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter's veto of a bill that would have forced removal of hundreds of "historic horse racing" gambling devices will stand.

Hours after learning of Otter's veto of the previously-passed Senate Bill 1011, the Idaho Senate voted 19-16 to bypass the governor's veto, but that was five votes short of an override.

Meanwhile, Otter says he wants a moratorium on any new instant racing machines being placed at Idaho race tracks. He also indicated that he wants a special investigative team to look into whether the machines violate the Idaho Constitution which forbids slot machines. To date, three race tracks, including Les Bois Park in Garden City have nearly 250 historic horse racing gambling machines installed.

ORIGINAL POST: April 6, 2015

Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter dusted off his veto stamp to kill legislation that would have pulled the plug on hundreds of so-called "historic horse racing" gambling machines which opponents said were too much like slot machines.

Senate Bill 1011, which repealed the Idaho Legislature's prior approval of the devices, passed through the Idaho House by a 49-21 vote and the Idaho Senate by a vote of 25-9. 

More than a few opponents of the machines pointed to a report that came out earlier in the day Monday from Betsy Russel of The Spokesman Review that detailed how supporters of the devices—lobbyists for a Post Falls race track and operators of Les Bois Park in Garden City—had pushed more than $92,000 into Otter's campaign war chest. That's more than four times more than the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, which opposes the machines, gave to the governor's campaign.
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