Racetracks in Illinois to Shut Down
 
Racetracks in Illinois to Shut Down
Written By Anita Bedell   |   10.07.15

The owners of Arlington Park closed the racetrack 18 years ago, saying that competition from casinos was killing horse racing. Two years later, under Governor George Ryan, the Horse Racing Act was amended to subsidize horse racing by reducing or eliminating taxes.  Richard Duchossois led the drive by track owners for at least $67 million in annual tax breaks and subsidies as compensation for business siphoned off by Illinois riverboats, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The racetracks have been lobbying for years for slot machines.  Now, the tracks want table games and slots to transform their facilities into full-blown casinos.  Legislators are led to believe this will “save horse racing” and agriculture jobs.  However, this is not true.  The number of “live” racing days has been reduced at all tracks and eliminated altogether at two.

Illinois Racing Board pulls plug on Balmoral and Maywood Racetracks

Balmoral had sought to race on Friday and Saturday nights from January through November and Maywood on Friday and Saturday nights from November through December.  However, Hawthorne Race Course, which had not conducted harness racing since 2008,  will get those race dates.

After unsuccessfully fighting to eliminate Hawthorne’s spring thoroughbred meets for the last four years, Arlington International Racecourse formed an alliance with its former adversary and the tracks made a joint presentation to the Illinois Racing Board.

Hawthorne agreed to give Arlington a portion of the host track money it receives from out-of-state simulcasts, and Arlington supported Hawthorne’s requests for the two harness meetings and its usual spring and fall thoroughbred meetings.  Read more HERE.

Transforming racetracks into land-based casinos will not “save horse racing” but it will make wealthy track owners richer and greatly expand the number of casinos in Illinois.

Take ACTION:  

  1. Click HERE to contact your state lawmakers to tell them NO MORE GAMBLING.
  2. Call the Governor and tell him NO MORE GAMBLING!  (217) 782-0244 or (312) 814-2121
  3. Share this Alert on social media
  4. Forward to 10 others and ask them to PRAY.
Anita Bedell
Anita Bedell is the executive director of the Springfield based Illinois Church Action on Alcohol & Addiction Problems, which is also known as ILCAAAP.  The Mission of ILCAAAP is to open doors to freedom from addictive behavior for individuals and families in Illinois through public information, education, and legislation.  Bedell has worked for ILCAAAP since 1990 and became executive director in 1994. Anita is a graduate of Illinois State University with a B.S. in Business Education.  Bedell did her graduate work in Human Development Counseling at Sangamon State University — now the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS).  Bedell...
IFI Featured Video
The Importance of Value Voting
IFI Action Alerts
Take action before 01.10.19
Get Our New App!