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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Senator questions police probe of instant racing machines

A North Idaho state senator is questioning why the Post Falls Police Department is investigating the “instant racing” machines in use at the Greyhound Park and Event Center in Post Falls. Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, said today he thinks it’s fitting for the Idaho State Police to handle the investigation, even though the State Racing Commission, which regulates the machines, is an arm of the state police. “I would think it would be appropriate for the state police to investigate that first, not the city police,” Nonini told The Spokesman-Review today. “I’m not the one who’s going to determine if the machines are legal. I guess that’s up to the Racing Commission and the state police.”

Nonini, whose district includes Post Falls, said he called Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney Barry McHugh about the investigation Saturday morning, after attending Friday’s legislative hearing at which a bill was introduced to repeal the law authorizing the machines. The repeal bill is sponsored by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, which contends the instant racing is an illegal expansion of casino-style gambling outside of Indian reservations. “My concern … was why didn’t he contact the state police, because the Racing Commission is under the state police,” Nonini said.

McHugh said he asked Post Falls police to handle the investigation because he believes that agency has primary jurisdiction over the conduct at the Greyhound Park, “and it’s still my position that they’re the appropriate agency.” He said he spoke today with ISP Capt. Curtis Kastens, who oversees District 1 in North Idaho, and that Kastens agreed it’s appropriate to have Post Falls Police handle the investigation. You can read our full story here at

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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