COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (CN) – Illinois horseracing tracks will get a much-needed financial boost after the U.S. Supreme Court decided to step away from a fight between the tracks and Illinois casinos. The court’s rejection of the case paves the way for a state plan to help the horseracing industry.
In 2006, four casinos filed suit against the plan, which shifts profits from the state’s richest casinos into horseracing for two years. The casinos paid the special fee under protest – 3 percent of their daily gross receipts – while they waited for the outcome of the lawsuit.
Without the money, the future of Illinois live thoroughbred racing was bleak.
For example, Fairmount Park in Collinsville, 15 miles east of St. Louis, is expecting to get more than $7 million. The money will allow the track to continue to offer live racing for at least two or three more years. Without the money, the track said it might have been forced to close. Fairmont recently shortened its racing season and has paid out smaller purses to stay in business.