SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CN) – The state’s horse racing industry has gotten a $141 million boost. The money, which has been fought over all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, was released from an escrow account this week.
The money came from a 2006 law that required Illinois’ four biggest casinos to divert 3 percent of their earnings for two years to the state’s horse tracks.
Backers of the bill said the money was needed to save the state’s struggling horse racing industry.
The casinos said they were targeted unfairly, and accused former Gov. Rod Blagojevich of conspiring with the horse racing industry in a pay-to-play scheme to get the law passed.
The casinos put the money in an escrow account, where it remained as the case wound its way through the legal system.