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Debate Rages On Slot Machines At Racetrack

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Arlington Park

Arlington Park Racetrack (Credit: Getty Images)

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) – Opponents and supporters of slot machines at Arlington Park squared off at a public meeting Wednesday.

As WBBM Newsradio 780′s Nancy Harty reports, speakers at the meeting chaired by state lawmakers were evenly divided on the proposal of adding up to 1,200 slots at the racetrack, according to the Daily Herald.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Nancy Harty reports.

A Rolling Meadows woman said gambling brings social problems to the community, while an Arlington Heights residents said purses have been smaller this year.

Illinois state Rep. Mark Walker (D-Arlington Heights) said other horseracing tracks are drawing patrons from Arlington because with slots, they are able to offer more winnings.

Two tracks in Indiana got slot machines in recent years, and the Daily Herald reports the horseracing income to Indiana has doubled since 2008.

Illinois State Senate has already passed legislation approving slot machines at racetracks, but there are questions about whether the Illinois House would approve it in its current form.

The legislative measure would also create the state’s first-ever land-based casino in Chicago and add four new riverboat casinos to Illinois.

In addition to allowing for slots at racetracks, the state legislation up for debate would create the state’s first-ever land-based casino in Chicago and add four new riverboat casinos to Illinois.

The legislation also would allow the state’s nine existing casinos to expand.

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