Illinois could decide soon on slot machines at horse racing tracks

October 8, 2011

The Associated Press

(AP Photo/Mel Evans)
People play slot machines at Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack in 2007.

Illinois' horse-racing industry could know within the next month or so whether the state will join 13 others in allowing slot machines at their tracks sites.

Illinois lawmakers signed off on allowing the slots at the state's five major horse tracks last spring. But the measure is in limbo as legislators try to address Gov. Pat Quinn's concerns about broadening gambling.

Lawmakers apparently don't have enough votes to override any veto that might come when the Legislature convenes a veto session later this month.

The bill's backers say the measure is crucial in saving the state's horse-racing industry that saw the amount of money wagered last year hit a 35-year low. Opponents say nature should take its course, and the sport should just die in Illinois.