Leaders of Ohio's racing industry met in Columbus on Tuesday to show an Instant Racing game which they say can revive the sport in the Buckeye State if its use is approved by legislators.
The video machines give past performance information on each of the horses participating in the race from the past. Bettors have a choice of wagers.After wagers are made, a brief video clip shows the stretch drive and finish and notes any winning bets.
"A night at the races in a box," said state Sen. Timothy J. Grendell of Chesterland, according to an article in the Columbus Dispatch. He said it was similar to a "night at the races" held by many charities in the state.
"All this does is improve the technology and put it in a box," he said.
Racing leaders are looking to Instant Racing to turn around the sport's flagging fortunes. They say that the games would increase attendance and handle and thus increase purses, allowing more horses to remain in Ohio instead of racing elsewhere for higher purses. Legislatures in Ohio's neighbor states Pennsylvania and Indiana both have approved slot machines at tracks, but voters in the Buckeye State rejected a slots measure last November.
The article noted that 40,000 jobs in the Ohio racing industry are at stake.
Total betting is down 13 percent in 2007 at Ohio thoroughbred tracks and down 19 percent at harness tracks.