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Expanded Gaming Legislation Moving Up in Illinois

Legislation to expand gaming in Illinois remains alive as the legislature nears the scheduled adjournment date for its spring session. House Speaker Michael Madigan upped the ante by announcing Wednesday, May 24, that House Democrats see gaming as the most attractive source of new revenue for the state.

Hawthorne Chief Calls for Slots at Tracks

Illinois horse racing is mired in a "downward spiral that will require action by state government to save it," Hawthorne Race Course President Tim Carey said as his track prepared to open the 2007 Illinois Thoroughbred season Friday.

Illinois Governor Floats Idea of Gaming Expansion

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.

Illinois Deadlock a Problem for Racetrack Gaming

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.

Illinois Dates Set, But Questions Loom Over Purses

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The Illinois Racing Board has approved a compromise 2004 Chicago-area Thoroughbred season that has Arlington Park giving up a week of live racing in return for "host track" revenue from early-season simulcasting. But serious questions remain about purse levels for 2004 because the state legislature during its spring session backed away from approving slot machines at racetracks.

Arlington Seeks Earlier Opening Date For 2004

Arlington Park has asked the Illinois Racing Board for approval to open its 2004 season April 28, two weeks ahead of the track's traditional Mother's Day opener. If granted, the request would take the Kentucky Derby simulcast rights away from National Jockey Club, which hosted Derby Day this year during its spring meet at Hawthorne Race Course.

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