Double Down Betting Sports Bar and Grill closes doors in Idaho Falls
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Listen to an interview with Double Down owner Melissa Bernard about the closure in the clip above.
IDAHO FALLS — The Double Down Betting, Sports Bar and Grill has been closed their doors after a turbulent 16 months of business.
Jim and Melissa Bernard, owners of the Double Down, were forced to close up the sports bar after the State Supreme Court stuck down the veto of a bill by Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter claiming instant racing machines were unconstitutional.
Earlier this year, the Idaho Legislature reversed a bill they had passed two years earlier making instant racing machines legal. Lawmakers argued the machines they originally approved wound up being nothing more than slot machines.
“What was actually happening was somewhat different than what we approved two years ago,” Rep. Jeff Thompson, R. Idaho Falls, said. “Now, it appears to be against the constitution.”
Melissa Bernard said it was a real sad day. She said the whole effort with their business was to create a great entertainment venue by offering something that nobody else had.
“Unfortunately, when historical racing was pulled,” Bernard said. “It was no longer feasible to remain in operation.”
Over $3 million dollars was invested into the location and the historic racing machines before the courts decision was released. Bernard said the damage of 70 lost jobs to the community is crushing.
As to the possibility of reopening the restaurant down the road Bernard said, “Not for us, we’ve taken too big of a hit to start over.”
Photo courtesy Double Down Betting, Sports Bar and Grill