Best Bucking the Bets

Legislature trots out horse-racing puns

Staff Pick

The debate over instant horse racing took up a chunk of the Idaho Legislature's session last winter. The legislature approved the form of betting two years ago, then became upset when legislators realized how similar it looks to slot machine betting. Once they started debating the measure, the politicians seemed to delight in coming up with puns about horses, horse racing and farm animals in general: "Whoa, Nelly," "I think we're putting the cart before the horse," and "You can't sell us a horse and then deliver a pig in the mud." The governor vetoed the bill banning instant horse racing in spite of taking money from race track lobbyists. In the final stretch, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled that Otter's veto had pulled up lame—he didn't finish the paperwork in time—pulling the plug on the machines. One day later, Les Bois Park announced it was laying off 80 workers and hinted its 2016 live racing season might be a losing bet.

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