SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CN) – The Illinois House dealt a blow to the state’s horseracing industry by failing to pass a bill to allow slot machines at horseracing tracks.
The bill failed by 58-53. It needed 71 votes to pass.
Rep. Lou Long, D-Skokie, pulled the bill from the record after the vote, meaning it could come up again, but support for it appears to be dwindling.
Supporters claimed it would bring in about $1 billion in new revenue to the state.
The horseracing industry said it needs the money and increased attendance that the slots would bring. The horseracing industry has been struggling with low attendance and purses for races.
The Legislature passed a similar bill in May that would have added five casinos statewide, plus mini-casinos at each of the state’s five horse tracks.
But Gov. Pat Quinn said he would veto it because he does not want to turn Illinois into the Las Vegas of the Midwest.
Quinn presented a counterproposal, keeping the five new casinos and calling for stronger safeguards against corruption in the gaming industry, but eliminating the slot machines at the race tracks.
Long’s bill was an attempt to address some of Quinn’s concerns, while keeping the horse track slot machines.