Illinois Racing Board Grants Arlington 2020 Race Dates

Board had threatened one week earlier to deny Arlington race dates.

 

The Illinois Racing Board has voted to grant Arlington International Racecourse its normal summertime racing dates for 2020 despite concerns about owner Churchill Downs Inc.’s decision not to pursue a casino license that would have generated millions of dollars for the purse account.

The vote, at a packed meeting Sept. 24 in the Chicago Loop, came after a week’s delay during which an IRB committee sought potential changes in CDI’s position. None was forthcoming, although CDI senior vice president and general counsel Brad Blackwell told the IRB the company is “still trying to figure this out,” referring to new Illinois legislation authorizing racinos.

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Illinois Racing Board Threatens to Shut Down Arlington

Board may deny track 2020 dates after gaming refusal.

 

The Illinois Racing Board Sept. 17 threatened to deny Arlington International Racecourse racing dates for 2020 unless its owner, Churchill Downs Inc., can demonstrate within one week a concrete commitment to racing. The board adjourned its annual dates-award hearing until Sept. 24 and appointed a three-member committee to listen to “any new proposal which Churchill may wish to make.”

The action stems from a CDI decision not to apply for a gaming license at Arlington under terms of a new state law—an action that would cost purse accounts many millions of dollars a year. The decision, after years of Arlington lobbying for the right to run casino games, came some five months after CDI took a majority stake in Rivers Casino, located less than 15 miles from Arlington.

 

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