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Controversy Continues Over Online Horse Race Gambling

SHARE Controversy Continues Over Online Horse Race Gambling

Illinois gamblers will soon be able to bet on horse races over the Internet. But gambling opponents say it’s a losing proposition.

A new state law will make placing a bet on races at Illinois horse tracks, or even races in other states, as simple as a few keystrokes. Online wagering could be available as early as this fall. Mickey Ezzo is with the Illinois Racing Board.

EZZO: I think this is a way to bring our product to people who don’t normally go to a racetrack or to OTB parlors.

Here’s the way it will work: A person of legal age will need to set up an online account, using a credit card. Once that’s done, they’ll have access to races and can make a wager from a computer or a cell phone. It seems simple, and anti gambling activist Anita Bedell says that’s the problem.

BEDELL: You can sit in your home and lose your house betting on the internet on horse racing.

Bedell calls it a huge expansion of gambling and says it will lead to more gambling addicitions. But supporters say online betting could help save the state’s horse racing industry, which has struggled to compete with casinos.

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