11/08/2005 12:00AM

Illinois board approves new OTB

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The Illinois Racing Board voted Tuesday to approve the opening of a new offtrack betting parlor that will be located in the town of Niles, a northwestern suburb of Chicago.

The measure, which passed by a 9-1 vote, was voted upon a month later than originally scheduled. At its October meeting, the racing board decided to defer a vote on the new parlor after Arlington Park - and some Niles residents - voiced opposition to the plan. Arlington is located about 10 miles from the site, and track officials contended the offtrack betting site would poach customers who might otherwise attend the races in person.

The license for the Niles OTB, which will be located at 9215 Greenwood Avenue in the Golf Mill Shopping Center, will be held by the Maywood Park Trotting Association. Maywood is controlled by the powerful Johnston family, a major player in Intertrack Partners, a group that already operates 14 offtrack betting locations around the state of Illinois.