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Fort Erie Eyeing Instant Racing

Published: May 16, 2013 11:53 am ET

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Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium CEO Jim Thibert has gone on the record discussing the idea of getting 'instant racing' machines up and running at the historic thoroughbred border oval.

In an article by Niagara This Week, Thibert explained that Ontario's racetracks need to be able to offer and promote the traditional live racing experience, but, at the same time, be able to offer attractive racing-related gaming options to those that don't enjoy the down time between live races.

“We need to get people to appreciate the pomp and ceremony and tradition of the horse racing system, but also offer viable alternatives, like the instant horse racing betting machines,” said Thibert.

Thibert added, “We need to get moving on these things now, though. We can’t wait. We need these systems to be a part of our business plan next year.”

Instant racing, also known as 'historical racing,' is offered in machines that look similar to the traditional slot machine. The machines utilize replays of live horse races that have been run in the past. Customers are not given any information regarding the races in which they are to wager on.

In 2012, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. closed down operations of the slot-machine area that it was operating within the Fort Erie Race Track, a move that threw the border oval into chaos.

(With files from Niagara This Week)

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