House OKs instant racing at Portland Meadows



SALEM, Ore. — The financially troubled Portland Meadows racetrack won House approval to add instant racing machines, a move it says is necessary to keep horse racing viable in Oregon.

Track representatives say the electronic machines will attract younger people to the sport, and the extra money will boost purses for winning horse owners.

The machines resemble slots and the bets are made on actual horse races from the past. The old races are on video, but horse names are withheld so bettors can’t know the winner in advance.

As with live horse racing, it is a pari-mutuel form of gambling in which bettors wager against other players rather than the house.

Track representatives have said there are no plans to put the machines at off-track locations.

The bill heads to the Senate.