Illinois ADW

This is a big week for anyone involved or interested in horse racing in Illinois.

The provision of Illinois law that makes advance-deposit wagering (ADW) legal is set to expire at the end of January.  ADW is a major source of funding for live horse racing in Illinois.  If the provision is not extended, Arlington will likely be cut to 49 race days from 89, and Hawthorne will be cut to 15 race days from 100.  That’s just the local Thoroughbred tracks; all other tracks in the state, Thoroughbred and Standardbred, will be similarly affected.

There is only one more day before the end of the month that the legislators will be in Springfield: tomorrow, the day of the State of the State address.  It is still unclear whether the legislature will actually address the ADW bill when they are in town.

If you live in Illinois, please make a point of contacting your state senator and state representative.  (If you don’t know who that is, the Illinois Board of Elections site will be happy to tell you.)  Let them know that you’re a constituent, and let them know what live horse racing in Illinois, ADW, or both means to you.

It should be a no-brainer to pass an extension to ADW: it protects the livelihoods of Illinois horsemen, it gives fans of live racing a reason to go out and spend money, and it gives horseplayers the option to wager online if they’d like.  This isn’t a political blog, and it never will be.  However, it seriously stinks to think that my ability to hang out at the racetrack this spring hinges on politicians getting off their duffs and passing this law.

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