Montana Bill Explores Historical Horse Racing

Posted by Press Release on 03/19/2019

HELENA, MT—MARCH 18, 2019—A bill sponsored by Sen. Mark Blasdel-R Kalispell to study historical horse racing, which had been pulled from defeat two earlier and brought back to the floor, was tentatively approved by the Montana state Senate 26-23. 

Senate Bill 183 allows the Board of Horse Racing to study bringing electronic parimutuel betting, for what is known as "historical horse racing", to the state. It cleared its second reading Friday, has to go through a third reading before moving to the House. 

The Montana horse racing board was looking for new ways to make horse racing viable in the state. 

Currently, Montana has two tracks for racing, Great Falls and Miles City, that offer eight days of live horse racing. Supporters said SB 183 could help Montana increase racing in the state, noting that in the 1980s there were 16 race meets and 120 race days. 

Blasdel said SB 183 allows the board study the possibility of bringing the electronic racing to Montana, having their findings presented to the 2021 Legislature. He said the board could have proceeded without approval from the Legislature but wanted to be transparent.

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