Quinn, Lawmakers Vote to Save Arlington Season

A bill that would save the live racing season at Arlington International Racecourse from being cut in half has been signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn.

Lawmakers in the Illinois House and Senate sandwiched the governor’s State of the State address with two passing votes for the measure, set to extend the allowance of online betting. Quinn signed the bill into law shortly after.

The Illinois Racing Board is set to meet Friday to set dates for the season and had discussed the need to cut the live racing season in half if the state didn’t extend the law, according to the Daily Herald.

The plan, sponsored by Rep. Bob Rita, extends online horse betting for three more years, and the legislation is reportedly expected to prevent a dramatic cut in racing dates and save the jobs of more than 100 full-time employees.

The law was enacted in 2009 to regulate and tax wagering on horse races conducted over the telephone or Internet. Its extension is expected to provide the funding needed by the Racing Board to oversee a full racing schedule in 2014.

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