Prediction from a few racing industry executives: If you're a racetrack without slot machines, you're doomed.
An executive with RaceTech, the company that produces Instant Racing machines, said the product has held up well against electronic games of skill at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas.
Portland Meadows plans to install Instant Racing machines during its current 2006-07 meet under a plan recently approved by the Oregon Racing Commission.
RaceTech, the company behind Instant Racing, expects to top the $100-million mark in total handle sometime this year. Instant Racing--basically pari-mutuel video lottery terminals--went online early in 2000 at Oaklawn Park and Southland Greyhound Park in Arkansas.
Instant Racing, a pari-mutuel gaming system currently available at wagering outlets in Arkansas and Wyoming, will be expanded in those two states early this year.
Brainstorming for ideas to celebrate Oaklawn Park's centennial in 2004, track owner Charles Cella turned into the $6-million man late last summer. At the ripe old age of 67, Cella stunned his colleagues when he said he was going to offer a $5-million bonus to any 3-year-old that swept Oaklawn's Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and then won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). He also raised the purse of the Arkansas Derby to $1 million.
Instant Racing, launched in Arkansas three years ago, was approved for use at pari-mutuel facilities by the Wyoming Racing Commission July 11. The devices, which resemble video lottery terminals but are linked to pari-mutuel pools, will first be installed at an off-track betting parlor operated by Wyoming Downs.
Instant Racing, a pari-mutuel video lottery game currently offered at racetracks in Arkansas, has been approved by the Oregon Racing Commission for use at the state's racetracks. Oregon is the second state to approve the devices.
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