COLLINSVILLE, IL (KMOX) – As they struggle to stay alive, Illinois horse racing tracks are still waiting for millions of dollars they were promised when a tenth casino license was issued in Des Plaines about a decade ago. Now some in Springfield are now using that money as a chip in a three-way budget negotiation.
The aid to boost purses sits in a trust fund because the legislature has never appropriated it for release.
Illinois Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Belleville, says lawmakers are trying to divert some of it elsewhere in exchange for votes to re-institute internet wagering for Illinois tracks and support another issue the tracks are clamoring for.
“It also will be part and parcel of discussions that are going on which would allow the racetracks in Illinois to have gaming themselves. The money would then go towards purses, the prizes horsemen run for,” he explained.
Hoffman says the issue must be decided before the budget is finalized at the end of month.