Prairie Meadows received permission July 15 to add table games, but now it must roll the dice on an even bigger issue.
An odd turn of events threatens any chance for construction of a new riverboat casino in Rosemont, Ill., that is designed to pump tens of millions of dollars a year into the state's horse racing industry.
They won't be seeing it anytime soon, but Illinois racetracks and horse owners each can expect about $10 million a year as their cut of a Cook County riverboat casino. There has been speculation - sometimes wild speculation - since the 1999 revision of Illinois gaming and racing laws about how much racing can expect as its 15 percent share of the adjusted gross annual revenue from the boat. The fiscal 2002 Illinois budget presented by Gov. George Ryan on Feb. 21 provides a semi-official answer: $20 million, split 50/50 between purses and tracks.
The action removes a roadblock to construction of a riverboat casino, some revenue from which will be used to pump money into the Illinois racing industry.
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