Anti-gambling group fights horse racing measure - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Anti-gambling group fights horse racing measure

Anti-gambling group fights horse racing measure

 By: Jenn Schanz
jschanz@klkntv.com 

Slot machines might be another way to enjoy horse racing, if a certain ballot measure is passed in November. The measure would allow for betting on pre–recorded horse races at slot–style machines.

Some say the new game will boost interest and revenue for the horse racing industry.

"There are some of the younger generation that do like to play a quicker sport, and this allows them to do that. It's a huge benefit to this industry," says Christy Harris, General Manager of the Lincoln Race Course. 

But others are adamant that the only thing the slots will do is turn Nebraska into a gambling state.

"It'll turn the five horse tracks into casinos, and it will open the state up for Indian gambling, which will be unregulated and untaxed," says Pat Loontjer. 

She heads up Gambling With The Good Life, it's a group committed to defeating the measure. She says she loves traditional horse racing, but thinks this new addition will hurt the industry.

"It's not going to save the horse racing industry, it didn't save the dogs in Council Bluffs. The minute they got the casinos in they wanted to dump the dogs, and that's exactly what they'll do with the horses," Loontjer says. 

But Harris disagrees. The machines will only be allowed inside racing courses; she says this just makes the sport more inviting to a larger audience.

"People like entertainment. I don't think it will take away the history of the game," she says. 

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