ADW Bill

February 26th, 2015 | written by Lanny Brooks

Thanks to all who are concerned for the future of Fairmount Park. Today H.B. 335 passed in the House Executive Committee 7 to 3. It is now on the House floor on the order of second reading. The Bill lifts the sunset date and makes the A.D.W. law permanent. With your help there were 51 witness slips filed for the bill and only 9 against.

Look for a new major gaming bill that will be coming out today. The language will be identical to the previous bill that was introduced last year, so we have a lot of work to do.

Once again, thanks to Wendy Valenti, Mead Dowling from S.E.I.U. Local 1, Labor Local 44, AFSCME Council 31,Fairness for Fairmount and everyone else who supported the bill.

We’re going to need you all going forward.

Stall List

February 16th, 2015 | written by Lanny Brooks

The stall list is now available in the HBPA office.

Training Schedule

February 5th, 2015 | written by Lanny Brooks

The track will be open tomorrow for training. Inn addition, we will train this coming Sunday as well.

Exciting Rule Change

February 3rd, 2015 | written by Lanny Brooks

Uncoupled Entries
All entries, either same owner or different owner, shall be uncoupled wagering interests in any race. Same owner entries will have least preference in overfilled races. The date system will take preference in determining first and second parts of entries.

In my opinion this is long overdue. This will increase field size and which will increase handle and get us to the field size bonus more often.

This rule will be in effect on February 20th.


New Training Schedule

January 28th, 2015 | written by Lanny Brooks

Starting next Monday Feb. 2nd the track will be open six days a week with the starting gate open as well. Hours will continue to be determined by weather conditions.

Highlights Of January IRB Meeting

January 28th, 2015 | written by Lanny Brooks


.Here are two results from the IRB  January meeting in Chicago yesterday that I thought I’d highlight. Recapture speaks for itself, but the first item in my view is long overdue. It will allow same owner entries to be treated as separate betting interest. With a shortage of horses this will help increase field size, handle and increase the chance at Fairmount of running for the field size bonus.

The Board approved Arlington Park’s request to initiate rulemaking to amend Board rule
1413.114 (Coupled as Entry). The amendment shall uncouple same owner entries in any
thoroughbred race.

The Board approved by a vote of 7 to 0, the certification of the following purse recapture
amounts and payment schedules:

Arlington Park – $4,242,698 payable on a prorated daily basis;
Hawthorne Race Course – $2,598,999 payable on a prorated daily basis;
Fairmount Park Thoroughbred – $1,774,120 payable on a prorated daily basis;
Fairmount Park Colt Fund – $48,414 payable on a prorated daily basis;
Balmoral Park – $2,085,075 payable November 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015; and
Maywood Park – $2,858,804 payable November 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015

Stall Applications Due

January 26th, 2015 | written by Lanny Brooks

Just a reminder that stall applications are due in by tomorrow Tuesday the 27th.

No training tomorrow

January 26th, 2015 | written by Lanny Brooks

Due to ongoing track repairs the track will be closed until further notice.

Attention Horsemen!!!

January 25th, 2015 | written by Lanny Brooks

Due to a broken pipe on the Clubhouse turn, the track will be closed for training tomorrow (Monday). We will make up the missed day later in the week.

New Gaming Package On The Way

January 20th, 2015 | written by Lanny Brooks

Gambling backers renew casino push despite declines

  • The Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin saw revenue drop 11.6 percent last year as lawmakers prepare to move forward with a push for new Illinois casinos this year.

     The Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin saw revenue drop 11.6 percent last year as lawmakers prepare to move forward with a push for new Illinois casinos this year.
    Daily Herald File Photo

By Erin Hegarty

Backers of more gambling in Illinois are getting ready to introduce legislation that would create five new casinos and allow slot machines at horse racing tracks like Arlington International, similar to previous bills.

Lawmakers want to build off previous efforts, this time under new Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, and a plan could emerge in the next few weeks, state Sen. Terry Link, a Waukegan Democrat, said.

Recently, proposals have sought to add 1,200 slot machines to Arlington and construct new casinos in Lake County, Chicago, Rockford, Danville and the south suburbs. State Rep. Bob Rita, a Blue Island Democrat who has championed the legislation recently, agrees a new plan is coming soon.

“I think he understands that there’s the need for finances in the state, so this is an opportunity to get things moving in the right direction,” Link said of Rauner.

But Illinois has faced financial hardship for a while now, and gambling has not emerged as a savior. Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed two proposals during his tenure, and lawmakers were either unwilling or unable to send him gambling legislation he liked.

“Gambling expansion would just sift people from one place to another and would not increase revenue,” said Illinois Casino Gaming Association Executive Director Tom Swoik.

Illinois casinos brought in $86.7 million less in 2014 than they did in 2013, and overall casino admissions were down 1.4 million over the same time, statistics from the Illinois Gaming Board show.

Rivers Casino in Des Plaines was the only Illinois casino to see an increase in revenue in 2014. Rivers brought in over $425 million in 2014, $6.5 million more than 2013. While the casino’s revenue was up, admissions were down 5.3 percent.

Elgin’s Grand Victoria saw the largest revenue loss among suburban casinos. The riverboat casino took in $171.8 million in 2014, an 11.6 percent drop from 2013. Admissions at Grand Victoria also dropped 14.8 percent from 2013 to 2014. Aurora’s Hollywood Casino saw a 12.7 percent decline in admissions, and Joliet’s Hollywood Casino an 11.3 percent drop.

Meanwhile, horse racing fans have hoped for slot machines for years as their industry faces decline.

While Arlington International Racecourse Chairman Dick Duchossois is listed as a top donor to Rauner’s inauguration and transition team committees, Arlington spokesman Thom Serafin says they, like many others, are unsure of what Rauner will do with gambling.

“We are anxiously observing from the sidelines,” Serafin said.

Link has talked to Rauner about gambling expansion, and the governor has remained open to the idea. This year could be different, Link says, as gambling expansion faced stiff competition with statewide elections and other pressing issues last year.

“We got tied up with elections. We got tied up with the former governor’s feelings on it, so we’re starting fresh with a new governor,” Link said.