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updated: 6/1/2012 5:52 PM

Arlington would keep slots, grandstand separate

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  • Photo courtesy of Four Footed FotosArlington Park officials say they'd house slot machines in a different building than the grandstand if Gov. Pat Quinn signs a bill that would allow them.

      Photo courtesy of Four Footed FotosArlington Park officials say they'd house slot machines in a different building than the grandstand if Gov. Pat Quinn signs a bill that would allow them.

 
By Kerry Lester
klester@dailyherald.com

Arlington Park has long sought slot machines to help boost lagging revenues. However, racetrack officials have carefully crafted plans that would keep the machines separate from other parts of the facility and adjacent to the grandstand.

Arlington Chairman Richard Duchossois, in a September interview with the Daily Herald about the future of the track, called the horse racing fan and the slot machine player "like oil and water."

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Since that interview, track officials have not developed many more detailed plans, as chances for the slots being approved didn't look good, park spokesman Thom Serafin said.

Slot machines for Arlington are part of a gambling package that passed the General Assembly in the last hours of the legislative session on Thursday. Gov. Pat Quinn has not said whether he will sign it, but specifically cited the racetrack slots last year as a reason for his opposition to a similar bill.

Per the legislation, any building housing slot machines must be within 300 yards of the racetrack. The track would be required to have a shuttle or all-weather walkway to help safely move customers from one building to another.

To have slots, an electronic gaming license would cost Arlington Park $100,000, plus $25,000 for each additional gaming position. The track would be required to continue to conduct at least 240 live races a year.

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