Bill Roden, lobbyist for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, in his closing statement this morning to the Senate State Affairs Committee, said, “I sympathize with all of the statements that have been made with reference to the horse industry in the state of Idaho. … I think that the people who have engaged in it are wonderful people, I think it’s a great sport.” But he said the question is the one that Kane articulated: Whether what’s happening now matches the Legislature’s intent in its 2013 law.
Roden said he attended the 2013 hearings, and thought what was coming was something similar to betting on simulcasts – betting on races being run elsewhere – except that the races would be historical ones that already had been run. “It was pretty straightforward,” he said. “It seemed a little odd, but if it would help the horse industry … we were sympathetic to it and we did not object to that legislation.”
Then, he said, he was contacted and asked if he knew what Idaho had just approved. “We saw these machines, and there is no question but what this is a simulated slot machine, and not at all the same kind of wagering that was anticipated.”