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Texas Officials Reverse Course, Ban Historical Racing

Richard W. Rodriguez/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The Texas Racing Commission has reversed course and voted to bar horse and dog tracks statewide from using "historical racing" terminals that allow bets on already-run races.

The commission voted 5-4 on Thursday to repeal historical racing, which permitted gambling on past races after all identifying information had been stripped off.

That overturns the commission's decision last year to allow it.

The change comes amid pressure from top Texas Republicans who don't want to see gambling expanded. The commission's original vote prompted state lawmakers to temporarily withhold racing commission funding.

Racetracks throughout Texas suspended operations for a day last fall amid the standoff, though a temporary deal let them reopen.

Texas track operators say historical racing terminals were an important revenue source, and that banning them will hurt the industry.