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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Balmoral Park (6/8/09)
Contact: Tom Kelley
SUPREME COURT DECIDES TO STAY OUT OF RACETRACK-CASINO DISPUTE
The Supreme Court has decided to steer clear of a dispute between Illinois’ casinos and the states horse racing tracks over a 2006 law that was passed, granting the Illinois horse industry a 3 percent share of revenues from Chicagoland area riverboats. The law was unanimously upheld by the state Supreme Court last year and the high court allowed that ruling to stand on Monday without comment.
The 3 percent share, which has generated over $76 million in capital over the past two years, will be earmarked for the general purse account, marketing and capital improvements at all Illinois race tracks. That aid could help rejuvenate an Illinois racing scene that has been decimated by the loss of horses and horsemen to other states that are reaping the benefits of casino-supported racing.
While quite happy with Monday’s decision, Illinois Harness Horseman’s Association President David McCaffrey cautioned that it is still not a “cure-all” for Illinois racing.
“This is a very happy day for everyone involved in the racing industry in Illinois,” said McCaffrey. “It will really have a significant impact on the purse structure at our tracks over the next couple of years which everyone who has been racing here on a regular basis definitely needs. Hopefully, it will also halt the flow of people leaving to race in other states as well.”
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