Several Illinois Horse Tracks Struggling Financially

Sep 29, 2015

The owners of Illinois' horse race tracks say the industry is struggling to survive, but key players diverge on how to salvage the industry. 

Credit Flickr user Paul / "Horse racing" (CC BY 2.0) http://bit.ly/1MEzfJ9

The stakes are high; so says Dick Duchoissois, chairman of the Arlington Park track:

"We look at this meeting today as probably one of the most important ones that we have ever been to."

A state board gets to decide which track can hold races  -- and therefore make money - on any given day.

Arlington and another big track, Hawthorne, have long competed for racing dates.  But this year, they're asking the state to accept a one-year deal that splits the races.

Duchoissois says it'll help save horseracing in Illinois by allowing Arlington and Hawthorne to be more competitive.

But that'd be done by cutting out the bankrupt Balmoral and Maywood tracks; neither would be able to hold any races next year.

The family that owns and operates those facilities says they'll force them to close for good, and hurt the industry in the long-run.