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Downstream Racing Track Offers OTB Facility,Slot Machines

The area's newest horse racing book opened on August 16th, 2008 at the tribal Downstream Casino facility, which is located a few miles west of Joplin, Mo., just off the Interstate forty-four in far northeast Oklahoma. The location will require Kansas City residents to drive off for a bit, but after the Woodlands closes as announced on August 24th, 2008, it will be the local handicappers' closest off-track wagering location.

Downstream spokesperson Sean Harrison commented that the race book, which features a food service, can accommodate around sixty people while their video monitors can track live horse racing action on thoroughbred, quarter hourse and harness racing from up to fifteen racing tracks at a time. Harrison said that there are no plans yet to feature greyhound racing but that could change. The race book opens at around 11:00 a.m. everyday.

The Quapaw Tribe launched the casino last month and is constructing a 226 room hotel that will open to customers this floor. The gambling floor features around 2,000 slot machines and most casino table games except for craps and roulette. Do not look for off-track betting facilities in the metropolitan area unless the state laws are already modified. The law in both the states of Missouri and Kansas do not allow simulcast wagering to the location of licensed and active racing tracks and the Woodlands is the only licensed dog and horse racing track in both states.

Under the existing Missouri law, OTB wagering on horse races is specifically not allowed and violations are considered a felony. Dog racing is not mentioned but anyone that started taking wagers on dog races at racing tracks around the country would certainly violate other state gaming laws. Kansas laws sets a likely high bar on simullcast betting. Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission spokesperson Mike Deines said that a simulcast facility must be duly licensed by the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.


Wednesday, 03 September 2008
Theo Evans