Illinois Casinos Consider Lawsuit - Thursday 11th of May 2006

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times: "Stung by a legislative loss to the horse racing industry, Illinois' casinos are contemplating legal action to block a plan to shift $36 million annually from four Chicago area casinos to racetracks and horsemen.

"Gov. Blagojevich is expected to sign legislation he helped pass to take 3 percent of revenues from the state's top-grossing casinos in the next two years and give it to the racing industry, which has donated roughly $250,000 to him.

"Supporters view the plan as a way to help even up two industries engaged in a cutthroat battle for the same gambling dollar. Advocates also say the plan will preserve thousands of racing jobs and address the failure of a 1999 law to steer revenues for racing from the state's now-dormant 10th casino.

"But Tom Swoik, of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association, said his members think the legislation before Blagojevich is unconstitutional akin to personal computer companies having to subsidize the moribund typewriter industry. "

"…The deal that cleared the General Assembly on Thursday would give track owners 40 percent of the amount collected from casinos, leaving the rest for breeders, farmers and others in horse racing…"

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