Colonial Downs, which offers betting on horse races at 10 sites across
Virginia, is pushing for changes in state law so that it can offer a
new form of gambling, called historical racing, on which people wager
on horse races that have already taken place [emphasis added].
Sounds stupid, no? On closer examination, the bets have the logical structure of otherwise-illegal slot machines:
In historical gambling, which is also called instant gaming,
customers would put as little as a nickel and as much as $5 into a
video terminal that resembles a slot machine. The terminal randomly
selects a race from an archive of at least 10,000 previous horses races
from tracks around the country. Customers review a graphic showing the
odds and statistics for each horse before deciding which one to bet on.
race appears on the monitor. If the chosen horse wins, the patron will
receive a payout based on the odds, how much was bet and that day’s