Instant Racing, the type of electronic game in use at the recently opened Red Mile and Keeneland gambling parlor, has been shut down in Wyoming, at least temporarily.
In the games, players bet on previously run horse races, winnings allegedly determined by the original race. But Wyoming Attorney General Peter K. Michael issued an opinion last week that says the games are parimutuel but the "bonus" rounds are not.
At the request of the Wyoming Pari-Mutuel Commission, Michael examined the legality of several games. He wrote that the games in use were legal to an extent under current Wyoming statute, but all also involved outcomes determined "by events that are non-parimutuel in nature and based upon total chance."
The Wyoming opinion said the bonus rounds used in many of the games appear to use random events to determine whether a player wins or loses.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
In the wake of that opinion, the historic horse racing terminals in Wyoming were shut off Sunday. The state's parimutuel commission has scheduled a meeting for Thursday to consider ways to make the games conform to Wyoming law.
In 2013, the Wyoming legislature passed bills specifically to allow the terminals, which have been credited with bolstering live racing.
In Kentucky, the legality of the games has been challenged by the conservative advocacy group The Family Foundation, which contends that they are not pari-mutuel.
Several of the games examined by the Wyoming attorney general's office appear to be the same type in use at Red Mile.
A spokesman for the Keeneland/Red Mile parlor had no immediate comment on the Wyoming ruling.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission last month filed a document in Franklin Circuit Court acknowledging that a random number generator has multiple uses in RaceTech's Instant Racing games.
Encore Racing Based Games makes the games in use at Kentucky Downs.
"Encore is a different system, and we believe our system is fully compliant with the laws and regulations in Wyoming," spokesman Patrick Neely said.
Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate has scheduled the case for trial in September.