Town Council approves off-track betting facility
Issue date: 4/18/06 Section: News
Members of the Normal Town Council approved a code allowing a licensed off-track betting establishment to be built in Normal.
Previously, though gambling in licensed establishments, casinos and off-track betting parlors is legal in Illinois, the Town of Normal's code stipulated against such an establishment and banned gambling.
Bob Bilocerkowycz, president and CEO of InterTrack Partners said in most places it is illegal to have an off-track betting establishment but the law can be changed to allow it.
Off-track betting allows for someone to bet on horse races even if they are not actually at the track.
"You have the ability to go in and bet on any of 32 race tracks around the world," Bilocerkowycz said. "There's a lot of quirks to the law, they exclude everything and then you have to write the legal stuff back in."
The new code will allow for the licensed off-track betting parlor to serve alcohol and food, with stipulations.
Some of the limitations include no persons under the age of 21 being allowed, and there will be no ATM on the premises.
Councilmember Cheryl Gaines said the stipulations are meant to act as a safeguard.
The code had been voted on in the past and not approved, Gaines said. The vote approving the code change was not unanimous, however. Gaines said she did not support the decision to approve the code change.
"There are enough problems with gambling and enough problems with alcohol. We don't need to combine the two," she said.
"You get alcohol under your belt and start making monetary decisions and you could be in trouble," she said.
InterTrack Partners currently owns an off-track betting parlor within The Last Lap, a bar in Bloomington.
Bilocerkowycz said they have been looking into moving the location to Normal as a change of venues.
"We're exploring our options and we have not finalized all the details yet.
It's our perception that possibly in the future we could better our location for our customers," he said.
The exact location for the establishment has not yet been disclosed, Bilocerkowycz said.
He said they are happy with the partnership between InterTrack Partners and The Last Lap, but there are operating challenges.
"Sometimes the audience and our priorities are not lined up correctly," Bilocerkowycz said.
He compared the atmosphere to that of a student trying to study while a rock band plays in the background.
A formal announcement disclosing the location and plans for the off-track betting parlor will made in 30 to 60 days, Bilocerkowycz said.http://www.dailyvidette.com/media/storage/paper420/news/2006/04/18/News/Town-Council.Approves.OffTrack.Betting.Facility-1858353.shtml?norewrite200604260030&sourcedomain=www.dailyvidette.com