Hawthorne Racecourse (10/12/11)
Contact: Jim Miller
HAWTHORNE PRESIDENT LAYS OUT CANDID ASSESSMENT OF GAMBLING EXPANSION TO INFLUENTIAL CITY CLUB OF CHICAGO
Head of Longest-Running Illinois Gambling Business Dispels False Stereotypes, Calls on Political Leaders to Act Now to Create Jobs
Chicago, IL (October 12, 2011) — Tim Carey, 4th generation president and general manager of Hawthorne Race Course, addressed an influential gathering of Chicago business leaders and politicians at the City Club of Chicago, calling on legislative leaders and Governor Quinn to reach a compromise quickly for gambling expansion. Meticulously addressing the most common criticisms of the bill—and gambling in general—Carey made an impassioned case for creating jobs and generating revenue.
“You have this very strange situation in Illinois right now,” said Carey. “You have record unemployment. Businesses fleeing and threatening to leave the state. And here we are, raising our hands, jumping up and down, fighting for the chance to invest millions of dollars in our state, create tens of thousands of jobs and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue. And it won’t cost the taxpayers a dime. In fact we’re ready to pay over a billion dollars in licensing fees for the chance to do this!”
Carey’s presentation also addressed criticism of regulatory safeguards. “My family has owned this business for 100 years. Why in the world would I want the mob to be a part of that—or worse to be part of my competitors’ business? Let me be really clear: we want the best, most thorough regulation possible.” Carey noted that such criticism by Governor Quinn and the Illinois Gaming Board is certain to be addressed in legislation that will be sent to the Governor along with the original bill. “They’re talking about changing a few paragraphs in a 400 page bill. I think that is very doable.”
Other criticism of gambling in general has routinely focused on perceived “social costs,” specifically increases in crime, bankruptcy and divorce. Carey said that because his family has been in the gambling business for so long, he’s heard such claims for years. He pointed to Joliet, Illinois as a case study. “Joliet has two casinos and since they opened in 1992, the population of that city has doubled and yet crime has gone down by almost 70 percent. Gamblers, it turns out, are not inherently criminal.”
In closing Carey speculated that he believes that the Governor will ultimately sign the legislation. “He is an idealist and wants what’s best for the state. But he’s also a pragmatist and knows how high the stakes are.” Carey noted that the Governor’s concerns are legitimate and should be easily addressed. Referring to the Governor’s recent trip to China and efforts to keep companies like Motorola and Ford in Illinois, Carey pointed out that “[The Governor] can create more jobs in Illinois by signing this bill than through all of his other efforts combined.”
To view Carey’s speech and the subsequent question and answer session in its entirety click here:
Hawthorne Race Course opens for live racing on Saturday, October 1 and races live through Saturday December 31. Live racing will be conducted five days a week, racing Wednesday-Sunday. Live racing will also take place on Monday, December 26. First post daily is 1:35 pm. On Fridays through November 25, first post will be 3:00 pm. Hawthorne Race Course is located in Stickney IL at 3501 S. Laramie Ave. For information on live racing or groups at Hawthorne Race Course, contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700 or visit Hawthorne online at www.Hawthorneracecourse.com. Fans are welcome at Facebook.com/ClubHawthorne and for up-to-the-minute racing tips become a follower at Twitter.com/ClubHawthorne.