GRANTS PASS, Ore. – The Oregon Racing Commission voted unanimously to deny The Flying Lark’s application for “historic horse racing” machines.
Historic horse racing machines, or HHRs, allow a user to bet on the outcome of horse races that happened in the past. Once a “blind” bet is made, a race is randomly selected for the user to watch.
Last Year, Dutch Bros co-founder Travis Boersma’s TMB Racing Filed a lawsuit against the Oregon Racing Commission asking for the ORC to make a decision and approve its plans to have historic horse racing machines on-site at The Flying Lark in Grants Pass for people to bet on.
Ultimately, the ORC said it had to wait for an opinion from the Department of Justice which would decide if The Flying Lark application meets constitutional and other legal requirements.
On February 11, the Oregon Department of Justice made a formal conclusion that if the machines were installed at The Flying Lark, it would constitute a prohibited casino. The DOJ also stated the HHRs are “prohibited lotteries if operated by an entity other than the State Lottery.”
During a meeting on February 17, the ORC announced they denied the use of HHRs at the Flying Lark.
Voicing disapproval of the DOJ’s opinion, Boersma stated he’s heartbroken that more than 200 people will lose their jobs.