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Tense Waiting Game In Illinois

Published: December 9, 2013 12:47 pm ET

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Balmoral Park General Manager Jim Hannon has commented on the future of his standardbred raceway, just as other news regarding a former harness track in the state indicate its days could be numbered.

A report by The Daily Journal has quoted Hannon as saying that he is “disappointed” that the state's General Assembly adjourned before passing an extension to the state's advanced deposit wagering legislation.

Now that the extension was not called, Hannon is hoping Illinois politicians will pass the measure (Bill SB66) in late January, just days before live racing at Balmoral is scheduled to resume.

"We still hold out hope that on January 29, just [seven] days before the harness racing season is scheduled to start, legislators will pass an ADW extension,” The Daily Journal has quoted Hannon as saying.

The Balmoral GM added that, even if the ADW bill is passed, “…much damage will already be done, as horsemen will undoubtedly have already shipped horses to other states with more favourable horse racing environments."

In addition to Balmoral, fellow harness raceway Quad City Downs has also been in the news as of late. A report by WHBF-TV explains that many are looking to see the former harness raceway redeveloped.

Quad City Downs currently serves as a simulcasting facility. In regard to QC Downs, East Moline mayor John Thodos has said, "Given the trends of things, either we need to do something with it, or I think it's in the best interest of the owners to close it and put something productive out there. Anything that needs a high visibility, a high traffic count, and ease of access to the interstate, it's right there."

(With files from The Daily Journal and WHBF-TV)

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