Illinois Track Subsidy Faces Challenges
As reported by the Louisville Courier-Journal: "A potential $10 million subsidy for Arlington Park, Churchill Downs Inc.'s Chicago-area racetrack, faces a challenge from casino operators, who contend that a new Illinois law is unconstitutional. "Last Friday, Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed the bill, which calls for a two-year subsidy of horse racing by riverboat casinos. "Yesterday, casino operators told the Illinois state treasurer that they will make payments under protest and that they will test the law's constitutionality, said Mickey Ezzo, a spokesman for the Illinois Racing Board. ".Under the law, Illinois racetracks will receive the subsidy -- expected to yield $36 million a year -- based on the state's four largest riverboat casinos' paying 3 percent of adjusted gross receipts to a Horse Racing Equity Trust Fund. ".Arlington spokesman Thom Serafin said the casinos had threatened litigation on the issue before yesterday. ".The new subsidy is intended to help the horse-racing industry counter declines in business since casinos opened in Illinois."