The Illinois Racing Board is scrambling to cope with a huge civil judgment against the state's harness tracks that probably will push them into bankruptcy and threatens to impact Thoroughbred operations.
A federal affidavit alleges that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich pressured horse racing leaders for campaign contributions in exchange for supporting a bill, passed this month, that requires four of the state's highest-grossing riverboat casinos to share revenue with the Thoroughbred and harness racetracks.
A bill introduced Feb. 22 in the Illinois state legislature would prohibit the transportation of horses into the state for the sole purpose of slaughter for human consumption. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Bob Molaro. A Belgian company, Cavel International, runs a horse slaughter plant near DeKalb, Ill.
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