Illinois to formulate video horse racing rules

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The Illinois Racing Board is planning to launch a form of video gambling on past horse races despite legal questions.

The board is going to formulate rules that will govern “historical horse racing” at racetracks. The board started the activity last month at the request of some racetrack operators.

The move has sparked questions as to whether it could be introduced without approval from state lawmakers.

It is expected to work as follows: The racing terminals resemble video gambling machines. They randomly choose from thousands of past horse races and offer bets on each race along with odds and past performance information the horses. The names of the horses and the race are kept concealed from the bettor after the wager is placed. The race video is played, but players can bypass the race and go straight the results.

Opponents of the measure have said it would be the equivalent of slot-machine gambling at tracks. Track owners have tried unsuccessfully for nearly 20 years to get lawmakers

Advocates have argued that the process would be the same as regular horse racing games.

Board member Robert Schiewe Jr. said the race industry is “out of time” and needs the new method of gambling.

In agreement was board member Tom McCauley, who said the state’s racing industry “is in a desperate economic condition.”

Source: The Associated Press

Source: European Gaming Industry News

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