Issues critical to the future of Illinois horse racing hung in the balance May 28 as the legislature entered the final scheduled week of its spring session.
The legislation authorizes slots at the racetracks and five new casinos.
Advance-deposit wagering will be illegal in Illinois effective Jan. 1, 2013, because the General Assembly has failed to renew enabling legislation, the Illinois Racing Board ruled Dec. 18.
The push is on again for legislation to expand gambling in Illinois, including allowing slot machines at the state's racetracks.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn Aug. 28 vetoed a gaming expansion measure that would have allowed slot machines at racetracks and authorized five new casinos around the state, but hinted he may approve if changes are made.
The clock is running on what could be a final push to authorize Illinois racetracks to run slot machines many in the industry see as vital to survival.
The Illinois House of Representatives May 23 again passed a gaming expansion bill that would authorize slot machines at Illinois racetracks. However, Gov. Pat Quinn found fault with the measure.
Legislation authorizing slot machines at racetracks has stalled again as the Illinois General Assembly extended its fall session until after Thanksgiving.
Odds seem to be improving that Illinois race tracks will get the slot machines they say are needed for their very survival.
The fate of Illinois racing increasingly seems to be held hostage in a tug-of-war between Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel--a showdown that involves both substance and a test of wills.
Illinois senators approved a major expansion of casino gambling, including racetrack slot machines, Dec. 1, but the measure must now pass the House of Representatives and be signed by Gov. Pat Quinn.
Illinois gambling patrons in Illinois will now have the opportunity of placing their bets online, as Gov. Pat Quinn approved a bill Aug. 26 legalizing online wagering on horse racing.
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