Partnerships for Horse Racing Sought
The executive secretary of the state Board of Horse Racing, Sam Murfitt, has said that if horse racing should continue for the long haul in Montana, other forms of gambling, like keno machines, lotteries or casino alternatives should be offered along with racing in the state.
Murfitt has made the remarks after he sought about $360,000 a year for two consecutive years, or a total of $720,000 appropriation from the state, to boost racing in communities that are meeting difficulties in sustaining races, namely: Billings, Great Falls, Miles City and Missoula.
‘‘Every state that is doing well in horse racing is doing so with gambling.'' Murfitt told the Horse Racing Task Force.
Murfitt also noted that some tracks even partner with casinos or riverboat gambling operations; while the others that are commonly called'‘racinos,'' have gaming machines on-site. Further, Murfitt said key figures should not overlook the opportunities in Internet gambling.
Murfitt noted that the $720,000 in funding would go toward ambulances, jockey insurance, inspectors, drug testing for horses, auditors - which is all about $12,000 a day in costs that the communities now pick up to run their races, Murfitt said.
Murfitt appealed to lobbyists to support him in his funding proposal.'‘I need some help,'' he said.'‘This is a small request ... (but) it's a tough deal'' to get the state to approve the funding.
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