Virginia Lawmakers to Tackle Instant Racing Bill

Legislation to authorize Instant Racing is now scheduled to be heard Jan. 30 by the Virginia House of Delegates General Laws Committee.

The bill originally was scheduled to be heard Jan. 25. Instant Racing machines, currently in use at pari-mutuel facilities in Arkansas and Oregon, resemble video lottery terminals but are based on recycled races and therefore considered pari-mutuel in nature.

The bill calls for Instant Racing machines to be located in facilities owned and operated by Colonial Downs, the lone pari-mutuel operator in Virginia. The Virginia Thoroughbred Association said the machines would generate revenue for transportation programs as well as make an important economic contribution to breeding and racing in the state.

Instant Racing machines at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., have been responsible for regular purse increases the last several years. Purses at Oaklawn now average almost $300,000 a day.