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Horse Enthusiasts in Kentucky Can Now Partake in Instant Racing Games

With the invention of Instant Racing or historical racing machine came another dimension of horse racing wagering. This gives the bettor a replay of horse races that have been run and won already. It is the product of Am Tote Company who had the foresight to enter into a partnership.

The game play begins when a player puts in a wager and then chooses a race randomly from over sixty thousand races previously run. There is no information that will tell what the location of the race was, nor the names of the horses. The jockeys’ names are not given either. This way the player cannot be sure when or where the race took place.

Here’s what a typical screen looks like:

Instant Racing screen

The player is allowed to view a skill graph, which are charts taken from the Daily racing form. It shows information as to who the jockey is and what the trainer’s winning percentages have been. This may allow the player to handicap the race and pick the top t here runner in the order of finish. Some players prefer to let the machine choose their picks.

The history of this machine began in January 1997. It was because of an idea thought of by Eric Jackson. At the time he was the general manager of a racetrack called Oak Lawn Park (see below):

Instant racing at Oak Lawn Park

When he conceived the idea he met with three major companies. This happened in January of 1997. At this time his presentation had no takers and seemed to have fallen on deaf ears. Later in 1997 he met with Mr. Ted Mudge. Ted Mudge liked what he heard and asked Jackson to speak to experts in February 1998. This happened in Maryland at the racing industry gathering. It was here that Jackson’s project gathered momentum.


From here the Arkansas General Assembly took steps to authorize Instant Racing in 1999. They also removed the requirement that simulcast races needed to be shown live. Oak lawn, where these machines first were installed has seen more than one hundred and fifty dollars a day profit. This is an average on a daily basis.

In 2000 at the Oak Lawn Park Track they installed fifty machines. With the installation of these first machines, they became very popular. Soon, after the first two months of the test, about twelve other tracks were trying to get approval to install the machines also.

Between 2000 and 2014 many tracks in many different states had legislation in place to place the Instant Races machines place at their tracks. They started in Arkansas and then tracks in Kentucky got the ball rolling for legislation to put these Instant races machines at their tracks. They found them to be very much a draw. People wanted to bet on these horse races.

Facilities like the Red Mile are a clear sign of the healthy demand for this form of horse race wagering. Seen below, this may be the country’s biggest instant racing facility yet once it launches.

Red Mile's foray into instant racing

Red Mile preview

Instant Racing works like this. A bettor puts money in and is asked to choose three horses from ten horses. They do not know the horses’ names or where the race had taken place. They are allowed to see graphic charts about the race and some real data on the horse from the actual race and this may make them feel like they have some control over the betting they will be doing.

This may let them feel like they can handicap the race therefore helping them to choose better and get a better outcome. It furthers the idea that these games are skill, not chance. The next item to be chosen is how much you wish to bet. You can use the numbers of exactas, trifectas, win bets or any other type, which allow a pick of two of three. This is when the person can choose to watch the video or watch a brief clip of the horses when they are crossing the finish line.

Kentucky instant racing room

The winners are paid from a collective pot of money that draws from everyone else playing an Instant Racing Machine. This pot builds and builds until someone hits it and wins. This is when the pot is won. The house keeps their share, which normally is nine per cent. This also happens in real life when a bet is placed at the horse races

Some arguments for Instant Racing could be made for the extra revenue that it brought in to each of the racing parks where legislation allows it. Or that it is gaining in momentum. It has become extremely popular where legislation has allowed this type of instant racing wagering possibly because people seem to like the idea that they have stats to go by just by reading the graphs. It has also been estimated that since the legalization of the Instant Races machines Kentucky has made more than five hundred and seventy three million dollars in wagers that have been placed on instant racing machines. This gave around eight point six million dollars in taxes.

On the other hand there are some things, which could be against this form of Instant racing wagering. One could be that the politicians, who are supposed to legalize this, cannot make up their minds whether to legalize it or not. And so they legalize it and then they say it is not legal. How confusing this might make the introduction of legislation. Then instant racing is deemed to be illegal or the politician does not know if it is legal or not so he does not want to pass the legislation to have it incorporated into the racing parks. Another item which may be against the legalization of these Instant Races is that in Kentucky judges want to regulate wagers on the previously run horse races which are presented on these machines. They also say they need to establish whether the wagers themselves are legal.

There are many places and states where although there are no laws to let people gamble, the Instant Racing machines have been legalized. The states are as follows, and these took place between the years 2003-2014.

Arkansas was the first because this is where the creator lived. They had the first ones installed in their tracks.

Kentucky, with their many racetracks was another one to install these machines. They saw a great amount of revenue come their way. Michigan, Oregon in Portland also has them in use. Texas is trying but is still teetering on the fence. The Red Mile (seen below) is launching within the next few months.

Red Mile instant racing: coming in 2015

Some things for the instant racing machines could be that this brings the tracks mort revenue throughout the year. They also let the player feel like they have the upper hand when betting. Just because they feel like the graphs and reading about the stats have allowed them to be able to pick the winners and they feel like they are in control.

Some of the things that may be an argument against this type of Instant racing machine are that most states do not allow gambling in their states. Even if there are horse racing tracks, politicians are sitting on the fence trying to decide it these machines can be considered gambling or could they just be considered as off track betting would be.

The wagers for the Instant races can be from a nickel to five dollars. There has to be three horses chosen. The way a bettor wins is be selecting three horses but they have to come in, in the right order. They have to finish in the right order. Then the player wins the amount of money that is available in what is called the betting pool. Some players want to view the entire race, however some players wish to see only the last few seconds. This makes for a quicker race. Some of the jackpots have reached as high as 418,000 for the pick 4 jackpots. In order for this win, a player needs to select the winning horse in four consecutive races. If no one wins then the pool continues to grow until someone does win it.

While legislation tries to continue to legalize the Instant races there is also a market for more video racing machines within the states that racetrack owners have been blocked from getting approval for these machines. They are attempting to link the Instant races to live races around the country.

If these courts now in 2014 decide that this type of Instant racing is illegal then the question arises, will they need to repay all of the money they received in taxes and will then need to return it to all the people who used Instant racing.

Ellis Park

This is a big question and I am sure that the politicians and the judges will inadvertently make the right decision for their state and all of the respective states.

While this type of Instant Racing continues to be legal in many of the states, maybe you should try it out and see how wonderful you can become in choosing the right horses and how many times you can win on this type of a venue.

Street Story wins 2014 instant racing stakes

Maybe, and this is my thought only, Las Vegas should get a horse racing track and install these types of Instant racing machines. This may be a way for the politicians there to get the much needed revenue for all of the schools and all of the other items the city and state really needs.

Also called Historical Racing


  1. Jane says:

    Thanks for the terrific insight. If the verdict reached in 2014 rules that instant races are illegal, this will ruin the industry. I think it has huge market potential.

  2. Jack Weild says:

    The bookmakers over here are really pushing the games market. I’m not interested personally.

  3. Austin K. says:

    I love this concept! Let me state, I love gambling and this will be a hit across gambling platforms. This is such an exciting time!

  4. Fran says:

    Wow..this has been around since 1997? It’s a neat little idea, I like the fact that you can view it on the screen, because I thought that was something that would have been missing from the experience.

  5. james says:

    Instant racing seems like such an amazing idea. You don’t need to trek all the way out to a race track, you aren’t reliant upon weather conditions and the races can be run at any time of the day. I think this is the future of horses racing.,

  6. sikudhani says:

    i’m not a big fan of horse racing because i think it’s animal cruelty and i really dont know what people get out of abusing animals and making them race their whole life. horse racing should be banned.

  7. Simon Winters says:

    Love this new online horse racing. Just the same thrill but from the comfort of your own home. Great stuff.

  8. JaymoPols says:

    I have not tried this but would like to. It sounds really fun to be able to watch an actual video of an actual race, instead of just the usual blinking lights.

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