Struggles persist as Illinois horse tracks push for slots
Illinois horse tracks remain hopeful that state lawmakers grappling to plug a $6 billion budget gap will approve adding slot machines in a move the racing industry calls vital for its survival. But time is running out.
Proposals to expand Illinois gambling have recently resurfaced as legislators prepare to adjourn at the end of the month. One measure would add a state-owned casino in Chicago, and another would also allot four other gambling venues statewide.
The plea for slots is particularly loud at 90-year-old Fairmount Park in southwestern Illinois, which competes with casinos in Alton, East St. Louis and four in Missouri.
Former Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn twice vetoed gambling expansion bills. New Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has said he wants local communities to help make gambling decisions.