This letter is in response to the Idaho Press’ Editorial Board for their opinion piece of the ‘Save Idaho Horse Racing’ initiative Proposition 1 printed on 9/3/18. They reported that out of $88 million dollars generated by the HHR Terminals, only $600,000 went to the Public-School Fund. They neglected to tell their readers that 90% of that $88 million is returned to the bettors playing the HHR Terminals. The remaining 10% is divided between The Idaho Racing Commission, Public School Fund, Horse Council Youth Programs, Small Track Fund, Purses, Thorobred and Quarterhorse Breeders, and Track Operators. The Idaho Lottery returns 67 cents out of every dollar to the player.
Opponents of HHR Terminals say they are too much like slot machines; then how do the Touch Tab Lottery machines, also a fast paced video wagering game, fly under the radar. They also have a brightly lit up exterior that has a touchscreen that allows the bettor to wager as fast as he can move his fingers. Our Legislators turn a blind eye to them, but have destroyed an Industry that generates $50 million a year into the state according to a study done by Boise State University.
Horse Racing purses have always been generated by the wagers made. Treasure Valley Racing should not be singled out and denied the use of modern technology. The machines use a Pari-Mutual Betting System which has been legal since 1963.
So, ask yourself, who is really being duped? If Proposition 1 fails, who benefits the most – The Tribal Casinos and the Idaho Lottery that will have a monopoly on the market. Go to www.saveidahohorseracing.com and get the facts so you can make an informed decision.
Marta Loveland, Caldwell