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Illinois Racing Board Opens the Door to Historical Horse Racing at State Racetracks

The state of Illinois is well on its way to introduce one of the most preferred gaming offerings across the states to its gaming patrons, as the Illinois Racing Board made it clear that it is going to allow historical horse racing terminals to operate at state race courses. During a specially arranged meeting of the regulator, the wagering offering was greenlighted to the delight of everyone interested in it.

People following the development of the topic closely were anticipating 26th July eagerly, as this was the date set for the official voting on the subject. The three race courses still in operation in the state were scheduled to receive clarification whether or not they could feature terminals providing instant racing. A special voting was held revising a report by a committee overseen by Commissioner Thomas McCauley. With a unanimous agreement, the voting passed this innovative way of gaming that is so popular across other states.

Now the next step would be the devising of a specific set of rules which to oversee the field and provide the needed regulation for players protection. Once they have been introduced, the Illinois Racing Board would have to give its approval upon thorough review, closely followed by legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. It should be taken into account that there is a possibility that local groups willing to stop the gaming activity could make a move.

For the time being, local Fairmount Park located in Collinsville, as well as Hawthorne Race Course which is situated in Stickney, are among the fervent supporters of the said proposal. They would also be the venues which would welcome the terminals which very much resemble traditional slot machines. The local lawmakers are willing to introduce this type of gaming in order to boost the local horse racing sector which has witnessed a stagnant state in the past years.

Historical Horse Racing Could Launch in the Upcoming Months

This, in turn, results in the state offering insufficient racing performance and failing to be an equal rival to neighboring states such as Kentucky, which is known for its annual Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. With the help of historical horse racing chances for improvement increase, however, the racetracks have previously expressed their desire to offer casino gambling on their premises. As it could be recalled the state House Committee refused to let the proposed expansion bill pass, claiming that it could harm current venues performance.

According to the legal wording of historical horse racing, the state would consider historical horse racing a pari-mutuel type of betting which in turn does not require a special legislative action to be taking place. This betting system makes it easier for players to place their bets in a pool and it is typically implemented when it comes to horse and greyhound racing, as well as jai alai. In its essence, historical horse racing gives the players the opportunity to put their knowledge to the test and bet on races which have already taken place in the past.

The outcome of them is what matters and patrons around the country find it an enjoyable alternative to sports betting. In the states which have not already given green light to wagering on live sports events, historical race wagering comes as an equal alternative. For the time being, Illinois does not provide sports betting on a state level and considers it illegal, since the lawmakers have not yet introduced a specific set of rules regulating it.

There have been projections that this could happen by the end of this year, but it should be taken into account that the Illinois General Assembly adjourned in the last days of May. This means that the state has to wait until the beginning of 2019 until it could subject the proposed two Senate bills SB 2478 and SB 3432 to the review of the authorities.

 Author: Hannah Wallace

Hannah Wallace has been part of our team since the website was launched. She has a master’s degree in IT.