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Illinois Race and Sports Wagering

Horse racing, including thoroughbred and harness racing, is legal in Illinois. There are racetracks and offtrack betting sites throughout the state. Illinois allows online and phone betting on horse races along with traditional simulcasting. Revenue from has decreased despite the implementation of advance deposit wagering.

The Illinois Racing Board (ILRB), created in 1933, is responsible for the enforcement of the Illinois Horse Racing Act. The ILRB, by means of the Act, enforces horse racing rules and regulations, and ensures the honesty and integrity of Illinois racing and wagering.

In May 2006, Gov. Blagojevich signed legislation requiring four Chicago-area riverboats to contribute 3% of their revenue to the horse racing industry, helping horse racing to remain competitive. The opening of the 10th Illinois casino in 2011, Rivers Casino, triggered the termination of this 3% casino impact fee.

In February 2007, a bill passed in the House allowing horse racing tracks to operate electronic games in limited numbers. A number of horse tracks, including Fairmount Park, applied for such gaming machines. The bill never passed the Senate, but Illinois horse racing tracks continue to push for legislation allowing slot and other electronic gaming machines at their facilities.

In March 2015, a bill was introduced that would allow Illinois tracks to offer wagering on previously run horse races on machines similar to slot machines. The bill is viewed as an alternate proposal if no agreement is made to provide slot machines to the state's tracks.

In October 2009, two separate pieces of legislation were approved by the Illinois Racing Board allowing bets to be placed via websites and phone. This law expired on 31 December 2012, handcuffing the measure for 2013. In May 2013, the Illinois House approved new legislation allowing internet horse racing. It now must be approved by the Senate before being presented to the governor for signature.

Illinois Race and Sports Wagering Properties

Arlington Park
Brown County Fairgrounds
DuQuoin State Fairgrounds
Fairmount Park
Hawthorne Race Course
Illinois State Fairgrounds
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Illinois Race and Sports Wagering

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