BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter is endorsing a ballot initiative in the November election seeking to legalize horse race betting devices that could revive live horse races.
The Republican in remarks Thursday says many aspects of Idaho’s horse culture, including ranch work and rodeo, depend on a viable horse racing industry.
Democratic Boise Mayor Dave Bieter at the same event also endorsed Proposition 1. The state’s most popular race horsing track is just outside the city’s west edge and Bieter says it would provide an economic boost if horse racing resumed.
Live horse racing declined as gamblers turned to online betting or casinos. The lucrative betting machines that allow users to bet on past horse races are seen as a way to bring it back.
Lawmakers banned them in 2015 after deciding they resembled slot machines.