After 10 years lobbying for gambling, Arlington Race Course won’t seek casino license

After 10 years lobbying for gambling, Arlington Race Course won’t seek casino license


OFF THE TABLE AFTER LOBBING THE LEGISLATURE FOR MANY YEARS TO GET SLOT MACHINES AND OTHER GAMBLING APPARATUS HERE ON THE PREMISES AT ARLINGTON PARK, THEY HAVE NOW DECIDED THEY WILL NOT. T APPLY FOR A LICENSE. THE SAY THE TAX BURDEN IS TOO GREAT IN ITS VERY POSSIBLE THEY WOULD NOT BE PROFITABLE. THERE IS RAISING THIS AFTERNOON AT ARLINGTON PARK BUT MANY IN THE ILLINOIS HORSERACING COMMUNITY MAY BE A BIT DISTRACTED BY THE NEWS THEY GOT YESTERDAY. THEIR FUTURE NOW UNCERTAIN. THE OWNERS OF ARLINGTON PARK HAVE DECIDED NOT TO PURSUE A CASINO LICENSE.>>I HAVE A LOT OF SOMBER FACES THAT CARRIED OVER INTO TODAY. JOHN: THE OWNERS HAVE BEEN LOBBING THE STATE LEGISLATURE FOR A DECADE. HOPING TO GET SLOT MACHINES AND TABLE GAMES TO COMPETE WITH CASINOS. HOPING THE INFUSION OF CASH WOULD SAVE HORSE RACING IN ILLINOIS. IN MAY, THE LEGISLATURE APPROVED JUST THAT BILL.>>THE BILL PASSES WITH SLOT MACHINES AND TABLE GAMES. THEY GOT IT ALL. AND YET, THEY ARE REFUSING THE LICENSE. JOHN: CHURCHILL DOWNS WHICH OWNS ARLINGTON SAID ” ECONOMIC TERMS UNDER WHICH ARLINGTON WOULD BE GRANTED A CASINO GAMING LICENSE DO NOT PROVIDE AN ACCEPTABLE FINANCIAL RETURN. WE CANNOT RESPONSIBLY PROCEED.”>>I’M DISAPPOINTED BECAUSE, LIKE I SAID, EARLIER, I HAVE WORKED ON THIS FOR 20 YEARS OF TRYING TO GET THESE CASINOS DONE. THE BIG THING ABOUT THE RACINO WAS TO HELP THE HORSERACING INDUSTRY STAY SOUND. JOHN: AT HAWTHORNE RACE TRACK IT IS A MUCH DIFFERENT PICTURE. THEY ARE EXCITED TO PUT THE SO-CALLED RACINO IN. BUT THEY REALIZE ARLINGTON’S IMPORTANT IN THE MIDWEST. THEY SAY RACETRACKS AND HORSEMEN GROUPS THAT WORK TOGETHER TO BRING CASINO GAMING TO OUR INDUSTRY AS A WAY TO INCREASE PURSES AND SAVE JOBS. CHURCHILL DOWNS HAS RENEGED ON THAT EFFORT AND IS ABANDONING THE PEOPLE AND FAMILIES OF ILLINOIS HORSERACING.>>DEVASTATING TO SAY THE LEAST. JOHN: IN THEIR STATEMENT ARLINGTON SAYS THEY WILL CONTINUE TO APPLY FOR A SPORTS BETTING LICE

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