New proposal allows slot machines at all horse tracks, except Fairmont Park

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by Ruella Rouf /KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on April 16, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 16 at 5:42 PM

(KMOV) – A proposal in the Illinois State legislature has Fairmont Park president Brian Zander upset. The proposal allows every horse track in Illinois to have gambling machines, except for Fairmont Park.

On Wednesday, Zander testified against the proposal at the state gambling hearing.

The amendment was proposed by Rep. Bob Rita, D-Blue Island. Rita says that legalizing slot machines at Fairmont Park takes business away from nearby Casino Queen, whose taxes provide 40 percent of the city’s general fund budget.

"Any bill that would leave ours as the only one shut out (for slot machines) strikes me as blatantly unfair," Zander said this week. "From an industry point of view ... we're having trouble attracting quality horses. But if we get the slot machines, we can not only save jobs, we can create them."

Fairmont used to have 100 horses, but now has 52. 

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