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Friday, January 20, 2012

Kiss Chi-Town Slots Good Bye

The sad reality is slots in Chicago racetracks are dead.  The Governor is against it, the casinos are against it because it would put slots at the tracks near existing casinos.

That is the bad side of it.  The good news is it appears the casinos are ready to pay impact fees to the tracks to get them out of the slot bills.  The question is how will the casinos pay the money to the tracks.  The casinos realize to get Southern Illinois legislators to go along with a non-racetrack slot bill, they are going to have to pay to play.

The problem right now is how to get the payment to the tracks?  Some want the fees to go through the government as a pass through.  The racetracks, based on prior experience with the state wants no part of it.  Some want the tracks to enter into a contract with the casinos directly so the payment goes straight to the tracks; not giving the state a chance to appropriate the fees as they have done in the past.

It is clear racetracks will get some help.  The question is how the help will come.  They won't be getting a full loaf (the casinos), but they will get half a loaf (impact fees).  As we all know half a loaf is better than no loaf.  New Jersey horsemen would dies for a piece of a loaf.  I have one message for Illinois racetracks and horsemen.  Don't blow it.

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