Concerns Cast Shadow Over Virtual Horse Race Betting
Idaho’s horse racing industry has not seen an increase in interest with regard to the sport in the last few years. But a company by the name of Capitol Racing and Governor Butch Otter believe that they have found a way to revive and assist live horse racing, while attracting the interest of a new generation. But lawmakers in Idaho are a little reserved and concerned about the proposal put before them by Otter and Steve Bieri to legalize pari-mutuel wagering on virtual horse racing events.
Capital Racing oversees the daily operations of Les Bois Park in Idaho with Steve Bieri heading up the operation. He hopes to see his vision and dream of virtual horse racing taking on a new dimension. He stated at the meeting with the Idaho lawmakers that the company that will run the virtual horse racing, of which Bieri owns a thirty percent interest, is ready to be up and running as early as the 17th of November 2008, and that every detail in the virtual horse racing world, from jockeys to trainers and horses has been given great attention to. But lawmakers are not worried about these finer details, they are concerned over the effect that pitting virtual horse racing betting against live horse racing might have.
Due to the fact that England has already launched betting on virtual racing, Bieri believes that allowing the same in Idaho will not only be beneficial to the horsemen, but to the entire state. He also told the members of the meeting that the computer programs that run the virtual horse racing are so complex, that they themselves will have no idea what the outcome of a race will be, until it is run. The algorithms that have been installed in the programs take endurance levels, past racing history of the horse and various other factors in consideration to establish which horse is more likely to win. As each horse will exist independently, the betting public will be able to research the track record of each horse and trainer before place their bets. Bieri also reiterated that virtual horse racing was not going to replace live horse racing as he would use a percentage of its revenue to enhance live horse racing by increasing purse amounts.
The panel has decided to wait for the entire panel to convene on the 12th of November 2008, to discuss this topic, as it is felt that the topic is too sensitive to make an impulsive decision on. Allowing virtual betting alongside real live betting is a great concern, but all involved are hopeful that a favorable decision can be reached at the next meeting.