Idaho Senate Passes Bill To Fund State Racing Commission, But Passing House May Be More Difficult

The Idaho Senate passed a bill on Wednesday last week which redistributes wagering revenue in the state, a measure necessary to correct a budget deficit of approximately $141,000 in the Idaho State Racing Commission, according to the Idaho State Journal.

Horse racing in the Idaho is funded by wagering revenue, which is split between the commission, racetracks, breeders and public schools. The East Idaho Horsemen’s Association (EIHA) drafted multiple revisions of a revenue redistribution bill, but Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa — chairman of the State House Affairs Committee — refused to have the bill heard.

Instead, Sen. Jim Guthrie, R-Inkom, sponsored the bill in the Senate, where it passed. Now, the bill will head back to the house, but Crane remains against it.

“At some point, the horsemen have got to realize that they are in an industry that is dying — live horse racing in the state of Idaho is dying,” Crane told the Idaho State Journal. “I’m not responsible for that, no one in the Legislature is responsible for that. If they can’t put people in the stands that want to come watch their races, that is their problem, not my problem.”

Mark Hanson, Vice President of the EIHA, explained that putting people in the stands isn’t the problem. The issue stems from current distribution methods of advanced deposit wagering dollars.

“We still had 15 race days that occurred in 2020 and of those, multiple were conducted spectator-free because of COVID-19 protocols,” Hanson said. “So no, we are not asking Crane to put people in the stands at races. We’re asking to capitalize on revenue gleaned from other, more modern methods of wagering on horse racing in the state of Idaho.”

Read more at the Idaho State Journal.

The post Idaho Senate Passes Bill To Fund State Racing Commission, But Passing House May Be More Difficult appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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