05/23/2002 11:00PM

Illinois slots legislation possible

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STICKNEY, Ill. - Legislation that would bring slot machines to Illinois racetracks could be introduced in the Illinois State Legislature during its ongoing session.

Thoroughbred and harness horsemen have worked in concert to address the possibility of racetrack slots, and representatives of the horsemen have had discussions with racetrack operators concerning issues basic to slots legislation, according to Joe Kasperski, president of the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.

Kasperski said there were important specifics to iron out between horsemen and the tracks before any legislation could be drafted.

The racing industry is making a push for slots this spring because state lawmakers are eager to explore revenue-generating options in the face of a state budget crisis. According to the Chicago Tribune, Gov. George Ryan dislikes the idea of racetrack slot casinos but still will consider the idea because of the budget crisis.