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Wrapping Up the Derby and the Capital Bill

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

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It was quite a weekend for horse racing here in Illinois.

On the one hand you had the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby, which is obviously the biggest race on the horse track calendar. But, you also had, just before the big run at Churchill Downs, major developments in the campaign for video gaming machines at Illinois race tracks.

Basically it was a busy weekend, so I decided to write something up to make sure you readers didn't miss anything important.

Burgoo and Mint Juleps for Everyone!


Okay, I'm not going to baby you and explain what the Kentucky Derby is or who won--I realize that every self-respecting gambler out there knows what happened in Kentucky this weekend.

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Actually it's been a pretty crazy couple of days, could you fill me in?

What was interesting was how one ChicagoNower fared with his predictions this weekend.

Here is a selection of tweets from one Mr. Alex Quigley the day of the big race:
 

  1. Alex Quigley
    alexquigley #KentuckyDerby winner will be...Super Saver. This newspaper ad just told me.
  2. Alex Quigley
    alexquigley Oh, and Ice Box is getting 2nd. My fridge just told me. #KentuckyDerby
  3. Alex Quigley
    alexquigley I TOLD YOU #KentuckyDerby #hireme
-- this quote was brought to you by quoteurl

Aw, man!

A perfect exacta, that's so impressive! What did you end up getting out of this unbelievable prediction Carnac?

I mean a $200 bet pays out over $15,000!

...one more tweet from Quigley this weekend:

  1. Alex Quigley
    alexquigley My Derby Exacta prediction paid $152 for every $2 bet. WHY DID I NOT BET
-- this quote was brought to you by quoteurl

HA!

On a slightly less disappointing note my pick, Lookin on Lucky, finished sixth. At first this might not seem like a big deal--so I picked the wrong horse, so did a lot of people--but it matters because my roommate, the Goose, picked Sidney's Candy, which finished a disappointing 17th.

You know what that means...

Trash bet.jpg

Sixth place feels pretty good...

Inching Closer to Racinos


Okay, now for something a little less crazy.

Last week I reported that talks between the Illinois race track leaders and members of the State Congress were underway, dealing with a plan to give the excess Capital Bill video poker machines that were opted out by communities throughout Illinois to the State's race tracks.

The idea is that giving the extra machines to the horse tracks will prevent the Capital Bill's public works projects from failing as a result of underfunding.

The Illinois horse tracks argue that placing the machines at the tracks makes sense because the tracks already house gambling. The introduction of these machines to the tracks would also keep Illinois horse racing on par with Iowan and Indianan tracks, which already have slot machines.

I talked with former State Rep. and current racing lobbyist Bob Molaro about the proposed bill recently. Molaro stated that the Illinois tracks expect that 1,500 additional, permanent jobs would be created as a result of video gaming machines coming to the horse tracks.

In theory this proposal should save both the Capital Bill's public works projects and the horse racing industry in Illinois, which has been suffering recently.

The bill was to be introduced sometime last week, but it ran into resistances from an unverified congressional leader.

However, at the end of the week it was confirmed that State Rep. Will Burns (D-26th) would be sponsoring a race track-video gaming bill to be introduced sometime in the near future.

The bill already has the backing of most of Illinois's major unions, including the AFL-CIO, and is projected to bring in somewhere between $100 to $300 million in additional state revenue annually through taxes and licensing fees.

I will keep you readers posted as things develop.  

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1 Comment

Tory said:

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Way to go, Quigley. Very impressive.

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