Idaho voters will get the chance to legalize historic horse racing machines and in the process either kill or resurrect live horse racing at les Bois Park in Boise.

The initiative to reinstate the gambling machines gathers 56,196 valid signatures to place the issue on the November ballot.

The machines were legalized in 2013 but that that decision was repealed in 2015, the machines were shutdown and without the income from those machines live horse racing at Les Bois Park was shutdown the following year.

Right now the track just sits, waiting for this process to come full circle. The machines were proving income for live racing purses significant in value to attract top thoroughbreds from across the West.

Les Bois was in fact enjoying record attendance when the machines were shutdown.

How will the voters react? That's hard to say because opponents will argue gambling is gambling and not to be allowed at any level. Others will see this as a chance to bring the horse racing and breeding industry back to life.

If voters approve the measure the historic racing machines, which allow users to bet on past races, would be legal and would most likely lead the resumption of a live race meeting at Les Bois park between May and August 2019.

Much of the opposition to the machines in Boise came from the Coeur d'Alene Tribe which felt their Indian gamming rights were being infringed upon. The Tribe reportedly used strong tactics to keep voters from signing the initiative when it circulated North Idaho.


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