COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) – Collinsville’s Fairmont Park is hoping to transform into a racino, a race track with slot machines, now that a new governor has taken over in Illinois.
Last year, a proposal was presented to the Illinois State Legislature that would allow gambling machines at every horse track in the state except for Fairmont Park. The proposal excluded Fairmont Park because of fears a racino in Collinsville would take away business from the Casino Queen, whose taxes provide 40 percent of the city’s general fund budget.
Brian Zander, the president of Fairmont Park, testified against the proposal at the state gambling hearing citing problems attracting quality horses which could force the park to close.
“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,” Zander said at last year’s meeting.
Zander says he is optimistic about the future of the racetrack now that Bruce Rauner is in office.
“The problems really haven’t changed, they haven’t gone away,” Zander said. “Some people see this as a way perhaps for the state of Illinois to raise revenue that it badly needs without raising taxes.”
If Fairmont Park is not made into a racino hundreds of jobs could be lost.