Historical horse racing now illegal in Louisiana, court rules

Historical horse racing now illegal in Louisiana, court rules

Article brief provided by nola.com
  • Tyler Bridges, nola.com
March 10, 2024 11:36 AM

Three years ago, state lawmakers asked barely any questions before the Louisiana Legislature passed a new form of gambling that was pushed by several powerful lawmakers, including then-Senate President Page Cortez.

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The lack of scrutiny was exposed when a Baton Rouge judge ruled last week that that type of gambling — which is called historical horse racing and is played on devices similar to slot machines — is illegal because it is an expansion of gambling not permitted under the state Constitution.

The Constitution requires voter approval parish by parish for each new form of gambling, Judge Richard “Chip” Moore III said. Yet no voters have been allowed to decide whether to approve the machines, which have been in use at Off Track Betting parlors operated by the state’s four racetracks.