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updated: 6/7/2013 4:11 PM

Quinn renews online horse betting law

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  • Pat Quinn

      Pat Quinn

 
 

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Friday that renews online horse betting for residents.

Though the state law allowing the practice expired in late 2012, two companies that took bets from Illinois gamblers kept up the practice until state officials forced them to stop.

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The new law will allow those companies to pay taxes on the revenues to avoid punishment. It's unknown how much tax revenue the state stands to earn from the two companies that allowed online wagering by Illinois residents this year.

Online betting is big business for tracks like Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights, and officials there had been pushing for the law to be renewed for the past several months. The track's owner, Churchill Downs, runs one of the companies that was previously allowing Illinois residents to make online bets.

The bill Quinn signed also sends more than $23 million in casino revenue to the state's horse racing industry. More than $109 million has accumulated in that fund for the industry, but it's remained untouched because of a dispute over the law.

Additional funds generated will go toward school construction throughout the state.

The new law that grants Illinois residents the ability to bet on horse racing online sunsets on Dec. 31, 2014, according to Quinn's office.

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