After the decision by the Wyoming Pari-Mutuel Commission (PMC) in October 2015 to shut down all historic horse race terminals in the state, Wyoming Downs and Wyoming Horse Racing LLC have worked toward rebuilding their player base, according to a Wyoming Tribune Eagle report.
The shutdown last year resulted from an opinion by the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office on Sept. 23 that concluded horse race terminals did not comply with state law. The opinion issued by Attorney General Peter K. Michael claimed that the games contained a component of luck in contradiction to Wyoming state law which requires that the terminals be pari-mutuel in nature or requiring skill. In 2013, the Wyoming Legislature approved the historic racing terminals.
Instant racing, or historic horse racing, works via an electronic gambling system that allows players to place bets on horse or dog races that have previously been run but without any information regarding which races they’re betting on. Some of the terminals resemble casino slot machines and are largely credited with helping to revitalize live horse racing in the state.
After being in the dark for about 7 weeks, Wyoming Downs and Wyoming Horse Racing LLC were finally able to reprogram their machines so that they were in compliance with state law. Longer still was the adjustment period to the new games by their customers, however, according to the news agency, both companies report that the situation is steadily improving. The hope is to expand operations and to continue to improve their products into 2017.
According to the Casper Star Tribune, from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31 of 2015, the state’s counties and cities received close to $2.5 million from the terminal proceeds.