Our View: Support should be given


The Sweetwater County Commissioners have no reason not to support horse wagering in Green River and should approve the upcoming request to for their support.

The Town Bar and Grill seeks to install both off track horse race wagering and historic horse race terminals within the bar. The Green River City Council voted to support Town Bar and Grill’s request to Wyoming Downs LLC, the company which would provide both services to the bar.

Cliff McCarlie, a representative of Wyoming Downs who spoke with us when after the request was heard by the city council said the company’s board seeks support from municipal and county governments before deciding to expend operations.

This support has already been given to businesses in Rock Springs, two of which offer off track betting and historic horse racing. Rock Springs should not have a monopoly on this sort of business and business in Green River should have the choice of offering off track betting or historic race terminals to their customers.

A possible side effect of county opposition to Town Bar and Grill’s request would create this monopoly.

Worse yet for the incumbents seeking election, it could create an example of favoritism for Rock Springs a political opponent could use against them.

While criticism against historic horse racing can be levied because of how similar they are to slot machines, so much so that it’s hard to spot a meaningful difference between the two, those historic terminals are not illegal.

Objections to them should be made with members of the Wyoming Legislature, who are in a position to change state statute.

There are benefits to Green River as well. Green River would earn additional revenue from horse wagers. In January, the Wyoming Pari-Mutuel Commission paid the Rock Springs government earned $335,476.55 in 2017.

While Green River’s revenue would be less than Rock Springs, it would still represent a sizable amount for the city. Revenue could help fund small improvements throughout the city or even be used to resurrect the an event like Crystal Classic.

The commissioners have no reason to refuse support for the Town Bar and Grill’s request for their support. If Rock Springs can profit from horse wagers and historic races, why shouldn’t Green River have that same opportunity?


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