As part of the gambling expansion in the state, a new Illinois racetrack could be in the making in Cook County.
US.- Illinois is considering a new gambling expansion and may come with further venues than expected. As the project focused on casino gaming, a new Illinois racetrack could also open soon in Cook County.
The racetrack would be a “racino”, combining both types of venues and would be focused on harness racing. The venue would be the first of its type to open since 1946 when the Maywood Park began harness racing as well.
However, the legislation would require the racino and a new casino allowed to be 35 miles apart from each other. That’s why commercial real estate developer Rick Heidner may be the main candidate to score the racino. He is reportedly eyeing Tinley Park Mental Health Center in Orland Township. Even as he owns the former Balmoral Park horse racing track in Crete, it is located in Will County and would be ineligible under the distance restrictions.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she tried to land a casino for the city but ultimately favoured a private-owned, larger venue.
“The legislative process is about compromise. We were able to get an important marker down to start the process for a Chicago casino,” she said. “People have been talking about a Chicago casino since casino gambling came to this state almost 30 years ago. This is the first time we’ve actually got concrete steps in the right direction to make that hope a reality.”