At 4:00 pm Wednesday afternoon, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the Advance Deposit Wagering Bill into law to avertising a crisis in the state's horse racing industry announced Illinois Harness Horseman’s Association President Dave McCaffrey.
McCaffrey explained that there was an issue Wednesday morning regarding some of the wording in the bill. After the wording was removed, the legislation went to the Senate where it passed by a vote of 47-4. The bill then went to the House where it was passed via a 95-10 vote.
The legislation then went to the desk of Governor Pat Quinn, who signed it into law.
In a statement uploaded to the IHHA website, McCaffery stated, “So, what does this mean? First and foremost, it means that the Illinois Racing Board will award the racing dates in ‘Scenario 1’ of the dates order. In short, we'll race three days a week at Balmoral and two days a week at Maywood for most of 2014 (there is about a 10 day break during the State Fair in August).”
McCaffery explained that Illinois horsepeople will now have to negotiate a contract with the operators of Balmoral Park and Maywood Park. “If the racetracks refuse to defer any recapture, we're facing major purse cuts,” McCaffery stated.
He went on to say, “Today was a good day; now let's hope that we can get a decent contract that protects purses.”
(With files from the IHHA)