Live Thoroughbred racing returned to the Chicago area Feb. 20 as Hawthorne Race Course began its season amid frigid weather and an equally challenging financial and political landscape.
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.
Illinois racing dates may be vacated and laboratory operations curtailed if the state legislature does not quickly reauthorize advance deposit wagering, Illinois Racing Board officials said April 30.
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.
Legislation calling for a huge expansion of legalized gambling in Illinois is headed to the House floor after a similar bill failed earlier in the week of May 22.
An Illinois House of Representatives committee May 25 failed to approve legislation that would have expanded casino gambling and awarded slot machines to racetracks in the state.
Arlington Park chairman Richard L. Duchossois said he doesn't know if the racetrack can survive unless the Illinois legislature finally allows Arlington to add slot machines.
Democratic Illinois Rep. Lou Lang reiterated Jan. 15 he intends to push legislation authorizing racetrack slot machines and will begin drafting a bill the week of Jan. 17.
The Illinois General Assembly adjourned early the morning of Jan. 12 without voting on a massive expansion of gaming that would have permitted the state's racetracks to install a limited number of slot machines.
A bill that would dramatically expand Illinois gaming, including permitting slot machines at the state's racetracks, has advanced to the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives with bipartisan support.
Hawthorne Race Course is touting legislation that would authorize slot machines at Illinois racetracks.
With the Illinois state budget in a shambles and a video gaming in bars and restaurants going nowhere as a solution, racetracks again are urging lawmakers to allow them to install slot machines.
As horseracing interests lobby for slot machines in Illinois, two former state legislators have floated a $31-billion infrastructure plan that would be paid in part by expanded gambling in the state.
An Illinois legislator said he would propose an expansion of gambling that would include racetrack slot machines.
The Illinois General Assembly has approved and sent to Gov. Rod Blagojevich legislation that would provide as much as $35 million a year in subsidies for Illinois racing--but only for two years.
Revised legislation that would provide the Illinois horse racing industry with casino revenue passed the state House of Representatives 70-32 April 26 and heads to the Senate for consideration.
Legislation that would grant Fairmount Park a tax break worth almost $1.4 million a year has passed both houses of the Illinois legislature and awaits the signature of Gov. Rod Blagojevich. If approved, the track could increase purses and racing dates, according to reports.
Legislation that would funnel more than $50 million a year to the Illinois racing industry cleared a House committee March 1, but it failed to win enough support after a third reading March 3.
A proposal by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan to ban riverboat gambling in Illinois has been dry-docked in the state Senate.
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, after long opposition, has opened the door to the expansion of gaming. But his education-funding proposal doesn't specifically include the new casinos and support for racetracks that would make it politically viable in the state House and Senate.
Plagued by bad weather and short fields during the first month of its season, Arlington Park lost ground to racetracks in other states where purses are sweetened by slot machine revenue, Arlington president Cliff Goodrich told the Illinois Racing Board June 10.
The Illinois Legislature missed its midnight May 31 adjournment deadline in a stalemate over the state's budget. The deadlock likely dooms efforts to expand gaming in the state, including slot machines or other revenue-producing plans for Illinois racetracks.
Legislation to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption in Illinois is making its way through the House of Representatives. The bill also would make it illegal to transport horses into or out of the state for slaughter.
Illinois Rep. Bob Molaro said he will introduce legislation that would bar the slaughter of horses in the state.
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, in a major reversal of form, has announced he will veto any expansion of gaming in Illinois, including a plan to put slot machines at racetracks.
Fairmount Park's live meet, delayed more than a month by a crippling purse dispute, is finally under way. But the future of the track, located just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Mo., is in the hands of the Illinois legislature.
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