COLLINSVILLE, Ill. – Fairmount Park Racetrack will benefit from the recent expansion on gambling and sports betting as a result of efforts by state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville. Stuart was on the negotiation team for establishing new regulations and expansions on gambling and online sports betting in the state of Illinois.
“Having a seat at the table on this negotiation team was so important to ensure Fairmount Park and other race tracks did not get left behind,” said Stuart. “After three years of trying to pass legislation to simply allow Fairmount Park the ability to have 150 slot machines to create a new stream of revenue, the sports betting and gambling expansion needed to include measures to support historic race tracks like Fairmount Park.”
Part of the governor’s budget plan included an expansion on gambling and sports betting across the state. Stuart was selected to represent the House Democratic Women’s Caucus in the negotiations, due to her experience advocating for Fairmount Park and horseracing. Now, online sports betting is permitted at horse tracks and casinos. Additionally, the expansion allows video gaming terminals to be installed at racetracks, a key piece from previous legislation that Stuart has been working on since she took office in 2017. With the additional revenue, Fairmount Park will be able to extend their racing season, offer larger purses to attract more horses, create more jobs and begin new projects after years of cutting programs and racing dates.
“This legislation will allow for economic revitalization for not only Fairmount Park, but also for the surrounding communities,” Stuart added. “With what we were able to accomplish through these negotiations, Fairmount Park will be able to hire new staff, extend their racing season and continue being a staple in this community as it has for the past 100 years.”