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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Racinos: Horse-racing tracks with slot machines

Posted By on 06.12.12 at 10:59 AM

A horse race at Arlington Park Race Course
  • Slooby
  • A horse race at Arlington Park Race Course
Michael Puente has a brief, absorbing story over at WBEZ about a provision that would allow lllinois horse-racing tracks to host slot machines on their property. According to the proprietors of the racetracks, along with other figures affiliated with the industry, slot machines are a do-or-die measure for the future of Illinois horse racing. As one subject interviewed for the article states, "If we don’t get the slots, we’re really just done."

The key detractor in this case is none other than Governor Pat Quinn, whose distaste for gambling expansion in Illinois seems to be increasing. Horse racing is the premier source of gambling in Illinois, so the implementation of "racinos," the newly coined term for racetracks with slot machines and other games on the property, is either a flash point or a death knell for the future of gambling in the state. Opinions vary on the ethical and financial reasons for expanding gambling in Illinois. But this story has a lot of significance to the state's future: Could Illinois become a center for gambling, or will we forever cross the Skyway into northwest Indiana to indulge our money-wasting impulses?

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