Springfield Deal Could Put Video Slot Machines, Poker Machines at Arlington Park and Other Horseracing Tracks

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A deal in the works at the Illinois State Capitol would put hundreds of video slot and poker machines at Arlington Park and other horse tracks across the state. Taxes would provide millions of dollars for construction spending.

As proposed, Arlington Park and other Cook County tracks are set to get up to 1,200 video gambling positions. Downstate tracks would be limited to 900 video gambling positions. The video casinos would have to be located within 300 yards of the track. Arlington Heights would only get 5% of the revenue from the slot machines, and the race tracks would have to pay up to $25,000 per video gambling machine. The current plan does have the backing Arlington Park, which would welcome the opportunity for new construction and additional jobs.

The controversy over slot machines has existed years. In 1995, a local referendum question on whether to support casino gambling at the track won by 38 votes, but the Arlington Heights Village Board passed a resolution against more gambling. Officials have always known that state legislature could overrule the decisions of the Arlington Heights Village Board.

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