04/07/2015 10:35AM

Les Bois Park: Bill to shut down historical-racing machines vetoed


Historical-racing machines at Les Bois Park in Boise, Idaho, will remain operational due to a veto by Gov. Butch Otter on Monday of a bill that would have prohibited the devices.

The operators of Les Bois had said the bill would have forced the track to shut down. Les Bois uses the devices, which closely resemble slot machines, for year-round revenue and to supplement purses at a summer meet that is scheduled to run approximately 30 days this year.

The veto by Otter survived an override vote in the Idaho Senate late Monday, but the governor, in his veto message, asked the legislature to place a moratorium on the installation of any new machines at Les Bois and to create a commission that would establish “operating rules that are sensitive to both the community and industry concerns.”

Opposition to the machines was led during the last legislative session by the Couer D’Alene Tribe, which operates a casino in the state competing with the Les Bois devices. The tribe and opponents of the devices have argued that the machines violate a ban in the state constitution on slot machines.

Lawmakers in Idaho legalized the machines for Les Bois Park in 2013, and the devices were installed at Les Bois last June. Since then, the devices have drawn $40 million in bets.