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Millions In Purses Released To Ill. Tracks

Published: August 10, 2011 11:17 am ET

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Tuesday, August 9 proved to be the end of a long legal battle for Illinois racetracks. And although the process has taken over five years, the wait has paid off, in millions.

According to a report by, the $141 million in funds from the Horse Racing Equity Trust were released to the Illinois racing industry on Tuesday, thus allowing state racing purses to get a large and long-awaited shot in the arm.

As the article explains, a law regarding a subsidy was put into place in 2006 which forced Illinois' four largest casinos to send three per cent of their earnings to the trust. Funds accrued in the trust would then be sent to the state's racing industry to try to offset the damage the competition from the casinos would have on the racing industry.

The casinos had been fighting the subsidy, but had recently seen their legal appeals denied.

"We have new life," Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association Executive Director Tony Somone was quoted as saying. "It's going to stimulate the local horse racing community."

(With files from

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