A senator in Nebraska, America is attempting to put through a legislative bill to keep horse racing alive with the use of computerised kiosks to take bets.
Sen. Russ Karpisek says that it will offer faster wagering on keno and a portion of the anticipated increase in revenue would be used to boost purses for thoroughbred horse races.
The self-service Kiosks will allow gamblers to place a bet via the screen, just as they can withdraw money from a bank and pay for gas at a petrol station.
Critics argue that quicker wagers would be more addictive and thus more harmful to families.
At the moment, keno machines can conduct games every five minutes but with the new Touch screen units, one could play every three minutes.
Allowing more games per hour would increase wagering and generate an estimated $1.1 million a year in new tax revenue for the state, 15% of this being funnelled to horse-racing.
With about 1,000 horse races conducted each year at the state’s five tracks, that would amount to approximately $156 more for purses per race.
The bill, called Karpisek’s Legislative Bill 490, is an attempt to save the state’s largest track, State Fair Park, which will close after the 2012 season, and tracks at Columbus and South Sioux City are also struggling.
In 2006, Nebraska voters turned down a ballot measure that would have legalised video versions of keno machines.
Will the bill be passed and change the sport industry for the future? We’ll keep you informed…