High Illinois Gambling Tax May Force Arlington Track To Move

Written By Derek Helling on September 18, 2019Last Updated on January 6, 2020
Arlington horse racing

Mere days after a study concluded a new Chicago casino would be financially insolvent because of high gaming taxes, it was announced the same factor could force an Arlington racetrack relocation.

Parties interested in the Chicago cities hoped for the exact same. Those desires have now been replaced with worries.

Why it is possible to move Arlington’s racetracks

According to a news release from Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen, the company considers adding casino games to the Arlington International Racecourse “financially untenable.” The main reason given is Illinois’ gaming tax rate.

Due to efforts to the Thoroughbred purse account, Arlington did enter this industry with an effective tax rate that would be roughly 17.5 % to 20 % higher than the current Chicagoland games. We come to the conclusion that we can & rsquo, t make this work with a heavy heart.

The Arlington Heights facility’s future is now up in the air. The new law gave Churchill Downs, the owner of the track since 2000, the freedom to add up to 1,200 gaming positions to the track.

Without casino game, it’s probable that the racetrack will shut its doors. Just horse racing is scheduled to take place at Churchill Downs through 2021.

Churchill Downs’$ 71 million investment, which is less than 20 years older, makes it difficult to imagine him giving it up completely. The racecourse may likely be moved before cutting its loss and continuing.

It’s unclear where that would be in Illinois. Another Chicago neighborhood is a prospect, the statement suggests.

Even if that did occur, Churchill Downsquo wouldn’t cease operations in the Windy City area. Ideas exist to increase operations elsewhere.

Plans for gambling expansion by Churchill Downs & rsquo

Des Plaines and Waukegan, two additional Chicago cities, are where Churchill Downs intends to expand its operations.

One of six bids to construct a new game in Waukegan has been submitted by the firm based in Louisville, Kentucky. Its proposed service will have 1, 600 positions, which is 400 fewer than the current max.

But there are strategies to get to that amount in Des Plaines. The lot owner of Rivers Casino there is Churchill Downs.

In addition to raising the 2, 000 games place cap, Churchill Downs also plans to add a sportsbook to Rivers in Des Plaines.

The Waukegan bid’s approval date is as mysterious as the start date for Illinois sports wagering. It would be safe to rule out the racetrack moving thither if Churchill Downs wins the Waukegan play.

What & rsquo, it’s also possible that Churchill Downs using its leverage to threaten relocation.

Adding energy to lights that have already been fanned

For Illinois legislators, the study’s findings on a brand-new Chicago game presently appeared to be unfavorable. That might be made worse by the Arlington International Racecourse’s potential transfer.

Take my ball, go home, and ploy, It & rsquo, it’s a classic & ldquo. The new game tax rates may be easily changed by the Illinois Legislature.

Threatening to move the track and eliminating plans to add casino games, Churchill Downs is emphasizing to the Legislature that, in its judgment, the duty costs are excessive.

To make a Chicago game practical, the Illinois Legislature may have already needed to rethink the new tax structure. This information might fan the flames to that flames.

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Helling, Derek

Helling, Derek is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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