11/25/2003 12:00AM

Magna halts Instant Racing

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Magna Entertainment Corp. has decided to end its experiment with Instant Racing video gambling machines at Portland Meadows.

The machines, which offer wagering on replays of previously run but unidentified races, have been highly successful at Oaklawn Park.

About 20 machines were installed this past summer at nearby Multnomah Greyhound Park, like Portand Meadows owned by Magna Entertainment. After a slow start, the daily handle for those machines grew to about $1,500 per day.

Those machines were transferred to Portland Meadows when the track's season began in October. The machines were never aggressively advertised and promoted, however, and they often sat idle.

Though admitting that play on the machines was disappointing, Art McFadden, president of Portland Meadows, said that is not the primary reason they are being abandoned.

"Magna simply decided it doesn't want to be involved with Instant Racing machines," he said.