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Collinsville horse track seeks change in Illinois gaming law

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By Matt Sepic, KWMU

Collinsville, Ill. – A horse track in the Metro East is pinning its hopes for survival on the Illinois Legislature.

Owners of Fairmount Park in Collinsville say to stay in business they must put in slot machines or enter into revenue sharing agreements with casinos. Illinois law would have to change for the track to do either.

Fairmount Park president Brian Zander said he had to lay off nearly 300 employees and shorten this year's live meet racing schedule.

He said operating costs are rising, and for years casinos have been taking away business.

"It was a greatly unanticipated consequence," Zander said. "But every other state has found a way to mitigate that impact."

A major infrastructure bill in Illinois would expand gambling and also require casinos to share revenue with racetracks.

The measure passed the Senate in September, but it has run into opposition in the Illinois House.

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