COLLINSVILLE, MO (KTVI) - The Casino Queen’s plan to buy Fairmount Park may be put on hold due to the legislative calendar.
The deal is contingent upon Illinois lawmakers expanding gambling, a move not likely to happen before the spring legislative session ends this weekend.
Casino owners said they’ll only buy the race track if the law is changed to allow for slot machines at horse racing tracks. The company would run Fairmount Park as a subsidiary.
It’s a potential win-win for both sides, since the casino and race track are faced with declining revenues.
Lawmakers, though, are more concerned with the revenue issues in the state of Illinois. They've got a multi-billion dollar deficit and some hope to generate revenue through expanded gambling to make up that gap.
The spring legislative session ends Sunday. If lawmakers don’t meet that deadline, the discussion will be tabled until the summer, and the casino’s plans to buy Fairmount Park will be pushed back as well.
Supporters of the gambling expansion bill estimate it could generate $500 million or more per year for the state, although representatives of existing casinos say those numbers are inflated.
Of course, any deal to buy Fairmount Park would still require approval from the state’s gaming board.