Horse Racing in Washington Milestones

The following events have directly or indirectly affected the pari-mutuel horse racing industry in the State of Washington:

1872 Seattle Race Course opens – Pari-mutuel wagering formally begins
1889State Constitution ratified – lotteries (games of chance)prohibited
1901Spokane Race Track opens
1902Meadowlands Race Track (King County) opens – Pari-mutuel wageringoperated at track
1909Widespread bookmaking led to a prohibition of horse racing
1933Pari-mutuelbetting on horse races authorized – Washington Horse Racing Commission established
1933LongacresRace Track opens in Renton
1935PlayfairRace Course opens in Spokane
1937Slotmachine prohibition amended to allow operation by private or nonprofit clubsregistered with the Washington State Patrol
1952StateSupreme Court rules that the law authorizing clubs to operate slot machinesviolates constitutional prohibition against lotteries
1961YakimaMeadows Race Track opens
1972StateConstitution amended to allow gambling activities when authorized by 60%majority vote of the Legislature or 60% vote of the people
1973Social gambling opportunities authorized – Gambling Commissioncreated
1976First tribal casino opened on the Puyallup Reservation
1977Charitable and nonprofit organizations authorized to operate‘Reno Nights’
1981Simulcast wagering authorized on races of national or regionalinterest
1982State Lottery authorized
1983Large-scale tribal bingo games began operation
1987Satellite broadcasts of live, in-state horse races to off-trackbetting locations authorized
1988Indian Gaming Regulatory Act passed by Congress
1990Washington State Council on Problem Gambling created
1992First compact tribal casino opened
1992Final season at Longacres
1996Emerald Downs opens in Auburn
1997House-banked card rooms authorized
1998Single card simulcast wagering authorized
1998Washington Legislatures increases the number of commissionersfrom three to five
1998Playfair Race Course closes
1998Yakima Meadows closes
1999Tribes begin operating electronic gaming devices
2000Playfair Race Course reopens for one season
2001Full card simulcast wagering authorized
2002Lottery authorized to participate in multi-state game (MetaMillions)
2003Playfair opens for simulcast – no live racing conducted
2004Satellite facilities (off track betting) authorized to operateyear round
2005Advance deposit wagering authorized
2005Problem gambling treatment program established
2006WHRC funding incentives authorized "for the purpose of developingthe equine industry, maintaining, and upgrading facilities, and assisting in equine health research."
2009The WHRC assumes responsibility for processing both Washington-bred Owner Bonuses andBreeder Awards
2011Washington Legislature reduces the number of commissioners from five to three
2015Muckleshoot Tribe - DBA Emerald Downs Racing LLC takes over operation of EMD.