From Illinois Business Journal news services
SPRNGFIELD – Illinois state Rep. Dwight Kay, R-Glen Carbon, testified this week before the House Executive Committee on legislation that he says would keep the horse racing industry viable and Fairmount Park Racetrack competitive in Illinois.
House Bill 2417 would allow Illinois horse racetracks the ability to offer patrons the option of wagering on historical, previously run horse races instead of only live horse races.
Historical races take place at a video machine, in appearance similar to a slot machine, with the video machine displaying a horse race from start to finish. The historical horse race is stripped of identifying information to show which horses won or placed.
“Making the horse racing industry more competitive is crucial to its longevity,” Kay said. “For the last 15 years the legislature has been unable to reach an agreement to allow slot machines at Illinois horse racetracks. My bill offers an alternative if no agreement is made to provide slot machines at Fairmount Park Racetrack. I am not going to sit back and let an estimated 1,600 jobs be legislatively cut out of my district, which is why I offered an alternative.”
Kay’s legislation would help generate more revenue for Fairmount Park Racetrack, the City of Collinsville, and the State of Illinois. At the same time, he said, it would make the horse racing industry more competitive with neighboring states.
“I anticipate bringing this bill back to committee this session for a vote. The horse racing industry and Fairmount Park has been a part of Illinois’ rich history for decades. I will do all I can to keep them racing for generations to come,” he said in a statement.