GREEN RIVER - Machines that allowed players to bet on previously run horse races have been pulled from businesses in Sweetwater and Uinta counties.
Joan Ramos, spokeswoman for Wyoming Horse Racing Inc., said the company agreed to remove the machines after prosecutors in both counties cited a recent court ruling out of Laramie County.
But the company's president, Eric Nelson, insisted the court had erred and that the games - known as "instant-race machines" - were legal.
"It is truly a sad day for Wyoming Horse Racing Inc. and the Wyoming horse racing industry, especially the horsemen," Nelson said in a statement.
Players on instant-race machines bet on previously run races but do not know which horses are running - or even which race they're betting on. They are only given information about the trainers involved. After bets are taken, the selected race is televised, and the players find out whether they've won.
In 2003, the Wyoming Pari-Mutuel Commission approved instant-racing machines. But in April 2004, Attorney General Pat Crank said instant-racing did not comply with the state's pari-mutuel laws. Gov. Dave Freudenthal vetoed a bill that would have legalized instant-race machines in February.
The industry challenged Crank's opinion in court, and last month Laramie County District Judge Edward Grant ruled the machines were illegal.
Although Grant's decision is legally enforceable only in Laramie County, after his written opinion was handed down July 7, prosecutors in Sweetwater and Uinta counties asked Wyoming Horse Racing to shut down machines there.