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Arkansas Track Bets on Old Races

3 May 2002

HOT SPRINGS, Arkansas – As reported by Bloomberg: "Oaklawn Park General Manager Eric Jackson couldn't convince Arkansas lawmakers to allow slot machines at his racetrack, so he came up with another idea.

"The track in Hot Springs, Arkansas, now has 150 `Instant Racing' machines, which allow wagering on previously run races, some from as long as six years ago.

"Since October, Jackson said the track's 154 Instant Racing terminals have generated about $2 million in bets each month. Their success has caught the attention of racetrack owners around the country, who are trying to keep customers who are being drawn away by casino gambling.

"…The Instant Racing system, a joint venture between Oaklawn and closely held AmTote International Inc., has about 100,000 races in its database, taken from tracks around the country. Once a player inserts a bet, which can range from 25 cents to $5, a race is randomly selected and handicapping information appears on the screen. Identities of the jockey, trainer and horse are removed.

"…Since the betting is on horse racing and payouts come out of pari-mutuel pools -- where winners split the total amount wagered -- state regulators don't consider them slot machines, Jackson said.

"…`The results have been overwhelming,' Jackson said…"

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