Racing interests in Illinois have been left at the altar. After the proposed slot legislation passed the State Senate, it went over to the Assembly where it won a test vote. However, late night when the slot bill was next on the docket, the Assembly adjourned the session, meaning Illinois horsemen have to start all over.
No one knows exactly what happened, but being this is Illinois, I suspect the proverbial 'fix' was in for the slot legislation. Mind you, yesterday the state raised the personal tax rate by 66% and the corporate tax rate by 45%, Not that the racino legislation would have eliminated all the tax increase; but it would have cut the need for the tax rates significantly. Explain to me why legislators rather force a mandatory tax increase on their citizens and industry instead of introducing a voluntary tax increase via the racino?
Are horsemen going to stick around to try again? What happened last night was like being able to step a foot into the promised land and then being sent back into the desert. What's to say the 'fix' won't be in next year at the last minute?. My guess is many horsemen in Illinois will be leaving the state as quick as they can make arrangements. After all, why should they wait for the riverboat money owed them which the riverboat industry has successfully kept from being distributed?
My guess is Running Aces will be having a stronger meet this year than they did last year. Indiana will be more competitive as will Ohio. Perhaps horsemen will even head to Michigan. The question for Illinois is how low can it go. I am afraid to ask.