Could Sports Betting be Coming to Fairmount Park?

Horse betting has been part of Fairmount since 1925

Brian Kelly
October 17, 2018 - 10:07 am

KMOX

Fairmount Park officials are keeping a close eye on a subcommittee meeting at the Illinois House of Representatives today.

It's actually the second of two hearings on the matter of legal sports betting in the Land of Lincoln. Issues expected to be discussed include online gambling, casino expansion, and daily fantasy sports. Casino Queen and East St. Louis officials are expected to speak at the hearing, according to Online Poker Report.

Related: Supreme Court Lifts Nationwide Ban on Sports Betting 

Related: IL Senate Bill 7

Fairmount Park Track President Brian Zander tells KMOX the horse racing industry is hoping to convince lawmakers to allow sports betting at the tracks, by using the same argument casinos have used to keep slots out of them.

"They've been successful now for 18 or 19 years, when we've said 'we'd like to have slot machines,' they've said 'well really, that's kind of our game, that's not yours.' And now, here comes sports betting along."

Zander's argument in favor of allowing tracks like his to have sports betting is that patrons at Fairmount Park have been betting on horse racing, a national sport, since 1925. Therefore, he feels turnabout is fair play.