This morning the Jacksonville Journal-Courier and Alton Telegraph issued an editorial detailing the financial setbacks incurred by the Illinois horsemen because funds have not been allocated as expected. An excerpt from that editorial is included below with a link to the full article.
Jacksonville Journal-Courier/Alton Telegraph
EDITORIAL: State still breaking promises to horse racing
Why does the state of Illinois continue to break its promises to the horse racing industry?
When Illinois’ first riverboat casinos went into operation in 1992, the state’s horse racing industry featured purses totaling $41.7 million. In 2012, that total had fallen to $24.3 million.
The sad thing is that this decline came after many people worked for years to build up the horse racing industry in Illinois. Racing was an economic engine, creating good-paying jobs not just on the tracks, but on farms and other businesses throughout the state.
Casino gambling cut into the horse industry’s share of the entertainment dollar. In an attempt to sustain the racetracks, they were supposed to receive a percentage of revenue from Illinois’ newest riverboat casino that opened in Des Plaines nearly two years ago.
Now, a new report issued by Illinois Auditor General William Holland shows that lawmakers never changed state law to allow the transfer of the millions of dollars due to the horse racing industry. As a result, that money is sitting in a Gaming Board account, doing nothing to help the tracks.