Virginia industry seeks historical betting legalization

Bobby Geiger explains instant racing, in which bets are placed on historical races but the names of horses and dates and locations of races are hidden, at Kentucky Downs. 2011, the ASSOCIATED PRESS

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia horse racing officials want to legalize gaming machines that allow people to bet on past races as part of a deal to sell a popular racetrack.

The Richmond-Times Dispatch reports historical race terminals have been accepted in other states as revenue-generators for the horse racing field, but critics say the terminals are slot machines in disguise.

Sale negotiations of the shuttered Colonial Downs racetrack to potential buyer Revolutionary Racing seemingly hang on the legalization of the machines.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s final budget proposal includes language that would approve the machines by redefining “simulcast horse racing” to mean “live or pre-recorded horse races.”

However, the language does not specify where the terminals will be allowed, and the Virginia House of Delegates routinely blocks legislation that could expand gambling.

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