Illinois Racing Board refuses ADW licenses; online bets ‘illegal’

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Illinois lawmakers wrapped up a legislative session this week without providing new authorization for advanced deposit wagering companies to take bets on the state’s racetracks.  With no legislative approval in place, the Illinois Racing Board has declined to renew licenses to the four ADW companies that have been operating in the state.

“It’s been made clear to those providers that it’s the position of the board that ADW wagers on Illinois racing are now illegal,” said Marc Laino, the board’s executive director.

“There was legislation introduced in the veto session in January.  It went to committee but didn’t receive enough votes.”


Of the four ADWs, Laino said he believes two of them – Twinspires and Xpressbet – continue to accept wagers on Illinois tracks.  BetZotic, a local platform affiliated with harness venues Balmoral and Maywood Park, stopped taking bets Jan. 1.  TVG told its customers that as of Thursday, it would also not be doing business in Illinois.

“TVG’s website will remain available to access funds and view or purchase handicapping information however wagering will not be allowed,” TVG stated in a note to subscribers.  “We apologize for this inconvenience and remain hopeful the law will be renewed in the near future.”

The initial legalization of ADW wagering in Illinois took place in 2009.  The law was extended for six months in 2012 but expired Jan. 1.

“I’m being told the issue will be taken up by the legislature in mid-February,” Laino said, although he didn’t know whether the ADW authorization might be in stand-alone legislation or rolled into a larger gambling bill.

Laino said all four providers were issued a directive concerning the expiration of the ADW law, but Twinspires.com and Xpressbet.com have not indicated that they are complying.

“I don’t know on what basis they feel it’s permissible to still take wagers,” Laino said.

Laino said the board is exploring options with the state Attorney General’s office over the potential criminal code violations by Twinspires and Xpressbet.  It’s possible that if the ADW law is renewed at some point, it could be made retroactive to Jan. 1, but Laino reiterated that currently, the wagers are illegal.

Bill Carstanjen, president and chief operating officer of Twinspires’ parent company, Churchill Downs Inc., did not return a phone call Thursday inquiring about Twinspires.com’s business in Illinois.  Ron Luniewski, president of Xpressbet, did not respond to an email concerning the issue.

The legislature’s decision not to renew the ADW law is a significant blow to Illinois racing and the Illinois Racing Board specifically.

Last year, $122 million was wagered through ADWs in Illinois, about a fifth of the total in-state handle.  The state collected $1.75 million in taxes on those bets.  The Illinois Racing Board derives 28% of its revenue from ADW business.

“The enactment and authorization has been a godsend in Illinois,” Laino said.  

“The racing board was supportive of legalization because we knew it was taking place anyway, but there was no benefit to the state of Illinois.  We continue to support it.”

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  • BobC

    Many years ago Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In would award the “fickle finger of fate” to people of dubious distinction. The Illinois legislature would certainly be a deserving recipient if Rowan and Martin were still around. Dave McCaffrey of the Illinois Harness Horsemens Association said “You can’t make up this stuff” on the IHHA’s website in complete disgust over the Illinois legislature’s failure to act on this measure—inspite of the fact that they’ve had plenty of time to do so. An advanced gaming bill that would allow slots at Illinois tracks? Forget it. These bozos can’t even renew a law that was already in existence!

    • CARLSONANNALEE

      ONCE AGAIN THE INDRUSTY SHOOTS ITSELF IN THE FOOT. BEFORE RESPONDING AND YELLING AT ME THAT IT WAS THE LAWMAKERS IS IT NOT THE RESPONSABOLITY OF THE VARIOUS HBPA,HARNESS REPS THE TRACKS AND ALL INVOLVED TO BE LOUD ENOUGH TO GET THIS FOLISHNESS IRONED OUT AND MAKE THE PUBLIC AWARE OF TAX DOLLARS BEING WASTED BY THESE BUFFOONS IN THE ILL.LEGISLATURE.

      • BobC

        What would you suggest that the ITHA, IHHA, ILHBPA and all of the Illinois racetracks do that they have not already done?  I don’t think it’s a matter of the horse industry shooting itself in the foot.  The aforementioned groups have stated their position loud and clear.  It’s the buffoons in Springfield that keep dropping the ball.

  • BobC

    Many years ago Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In would award the “fickle finger of fate” to people of dubious distinction. The Illinois legislature would certainly be a deserving recipient if Rowan and Martin were still around. Dave McCaffrey of the Illinois Harness Horsemens Association said “You can’t make up this stuff” on the IHHA’s website in complete disgust over the Illinois legislature’s failure to act on this measure—inspite of the fact that they’ve had plenty of time to do so. An advanced gaming bill that would allow slots at Illinois tracks? Forget it. These bozos can’t even renew a law that was already in existence!

  • CARLSONANNALEE

    ONCE AGAIN THE INDRUSTY SHOOTS ITSELF IN THE FOOT. BEFORE RESPONDING AND YELLING AT ME THAT IT WAS THE LAWMAKERS IS IT NOT THE RESPONSABOLITY OF THE VARIOUS HBPA,HARNESS REPS THE TRACKS AND ALL INVOLVED TO BE LOUD ENOUGH TO GET THIS FOLISHNESS IRONED OUT AND MAKE THE PUBLIC AWARE OF TAX DOLLARS BEING WASTED BY THESE BUFFOONS IN THE ILL.LEGISLATURE.

  • Jeffrey H.

    Looks like TVG got burned big time, sounds like they won’t be showing Hawthorne anymore on TVG because of this, since Oaklawn, Retama, and Sam Houston will also be on HRTV, live.

  • Jeffrey H.

    Looks like TVG got burned big time, sounds like they won’t be showing Hawthorne anymore on TVG because of this, since Oaklawn, Retama, and Sam Houston will also be on HRTV, live.

  • Sean Kerr

    Here again, we have yet another clear indication that leaving the legislative power over racing and wagering to the separate states is a disaster for our great sport. Wake up people: if we don’t solve this problem we are going to lose racing. The states power over our industry MUST come to an end. Jobs continue to evaporate in the game. Owners and breeders are disappearing. Farms are being sold. The solution is clear: we need a national racing and wagering commission by way of a new federal act of congress, that will remove this industry from the states’ grip. The entire racing and wagering system can be reconstructed as a total free enterprise industry, free to manage itself but subject to clear federal guidelines (law). It works for the airline industry. It works for the U.S. dollar financial system. It will work for horse racing and wagering. It works for other professional major league sports. There are billions and billions of dollars that are available to the great of sport racing. We have the opportunity of a lifetime to fix this mess, bring an end to the old ways of thinking, the old black-box authorities (including the JC and the NTRA), and the old families’ hidden power shenanigans that keep us shackled to the states inept stewardship.

    Make no mistake: we need a national racing and wagering commission.

  • Sean Kerr

    Here again, we have yet another clear indication that leaving the legislative power over racing and wagering to the separate states is a disaster for our great sport. Wake up people: if we don’t solve this problem we are going to lose racing. The states power over our industry MUST come to an end. Jobs continue to evaporate in the game. Owners and breeders are disappearing. Farms are being sold. The solution is clear: we need a national racing and wagering commission by way of a new federal act of congress, that will remove this industry from the states’ grip. The entire racing and wagering system can be reconstructed as a total free enterprise industry, free to manage itself but subject to clear federal guidelines (law). It works for the airline industry. It works for the U.S. dollar financial system. It will work for horse racing and wagering. It works for other professional major league sports. There are billions and billions of dollars that are available to the great of sport racing. We have the opportunity of a lifetime to fix this mess, bring an end to the old ways of thinking, the old black-box authorities (including the JC and the NTRA), and the old families’ hidden power shenanigans that keep us shackled to the states inept stewardship.

    Make no mistake: we need a national racing and wagering commission.

  • danzig

    Only by federal takeover of medication and wagering regulation can we begin to move forward with national strategies. Give the feds 1% of handle in exchange for clear legalization of all interstate simulcast, online, mobile and other wagering rights.

  • danzig

    Only by federal takeover of medication and wagering regulation can we begin to move forward with national strategies. Give the feds 1% of handle in exchange for clear legalization of all interstate simulcast, online, mobile and other wagering rights.

  • BobC

    What would you suggest that the ITHA, IHHA, ILHBPA and all of the Illinois racetracks do that they have not already done?  I don’t think it’s a matter of the horse industry shooting itself in the foot.  The aforementioned groups have stated their position loud and clear.  It’s the buffoons in Springfield that keep dropping the ball.

  • David

    Good observations herein. A prime example of much of what’s
    wrong with racing.  Illinois has held
    back ADW allowances for its own Licensees like some overbearing parent enforcing
    a ridiculous curfew in order to appear overly generous when finally yielding to
    peer levels.  They’re dinosaurs and reinforce
    Illinois’ richly deserved reputation.

  • David

    Good observations herein. A prime example of much of what’s
    wrong with racing.  Illinois has held
    back ADW allowances for its own Licensees like some overbearing parent enforcing
    a ridiculous curfew in order to appear overly generous when finally yielding to
    peer levels.  They’re dinosaurs and reinforce
    Illinois’ richly deserved reputation.

  • FourCats

    Just another example of how the micromanaging of racing by the states is a major factor in racing’s decline.  What other industry in the U.S. has to endure such interference?  Before people keep saying that racing should die if it can’t support itself, the state governments need to get out of the way to see if racing really could support itself if it was allowed to make reasonable business decisions without their (the state governments) interference.

    • Sean Kerr

       hear, hear

  • FourCats

    Just another example of how the micromanaging of racing by the states is a major factor in racing’s decline.  What other industry in the U.S. has to endure such interference?  Before people keep saying that racing should die if it can’t support itself, the state governments need to get out of the way to see if racing really could support itself if it was allowed to make reasonable business decisions without their (the state governments) interference.

  • Sean Kerr

     hear, hear

  • FrankNForter

    How can Churchill Downs, licensed as a casino operator in FL and other states, and Stronach Group, also licensed in FL, partner in MD, etc., completely snub their noses at the state of Illinois? You would think they’re risking dire consequences and putting profitable gaming operations at risk for the sake of maintaining a couple months of ADW wagering revenue in Illinois? 

    A letter from the Illinois AG could be coming…

  • FrankNForter

    How can Churchill Downs, licensed as a casino operator in FL and other states, and Stronach Group, also licensed in FL, partner in MD, etc., completely snub their noses at the state of Illinois? You would think they’re risking dire consequences and putting profitable gaming operations at risk for the sake of maintaining a couple months of ADW wagering revenue in Illinois? 

    A letter from the Illinois AG could be coming…

  • http://twitter.com/ThaBoy Tha Boy

    “It’s been made clear to those providers that it’s the position of the board that ADW wagers on Illinois racing are now illegal”

    Sooo does that mean people in Illinois can bet on other tracks? Or are we just shut out?

    • Charlie Davis

      You’re shut out.  People that don’t live in IL can bet on your races via ADW, but you can’t bet on your own races, or any other races via ADW.  It’s ridiculous and I feel for you.

      • Ron

        People in Illinois are still using Twinspires.

        • Charlie Davis

          Yeah, they are, but not legally.  And they can only play through Twinspires, so they’re still getting screwed.  

          • Ron

            I use twinspires. Fine with me.

          • Katman1151949

            twinspires stopped taking bets last night

          • 3875waldo

            This is reading like Nevil Shute’s novel, On The Beach (radio signals/broadcasts  from various cities still alive after the a-bomb war going out one by one).

  • http://twitter.com/ThaBoy Tha Boy

    “It’s been made clear to those providers that it’s the position of the board that ADW wagers on Illinois racing are now illegal”

    Sooo does that mean people in Illinois can bet on other tracks? Or are we just shut out?

  • Jack

    I can’t figure out what this means…..people outside of the state can’t wager on Illinois racing or people in the state can’t wager on races outside of Illinois (through these companies) or people in Illinois cannot have an ADW account?

    • Captain

      ADW operators are not legally permitted to accept wagers 
      from Illinios residents.

      • Jack

        cheers

  • Jack

    I can’t figure out what this means…..people outside of the state can’t wager on Illinois racing or people in the state can’t wager on races outside of Illinois (through these companies) or people in Illinois cannot have an ADW account?

  • Captain

    ADW operators are not legally permitted to accept wagers 
    from Illinios residents.

  • Don Reed

    A thousand basements in Illinois this morning were vacated.

  • Don Reed

    A thousand basements in Illinois this morning were vacated.

  • Mfantus

    Those damn Republicans are nuts downstate as in Washington.   I hope the southern part of the state that works with horses, farms raising feed and various horse related jobs vote Democratic next election in 2014.

    • Ron

      Sure and the democratic gov pat quinn is a great friend to racing. 

  • Mfantus

    Those damn Republicans are nuts downstate as in Washington.   I hope the southern part of the state that works with horses, farms raising feed and various horse related jobs vote Democratic next election in 2014.

  • Charlie Davis

    You’re shut out.  People that don’t live in IL can bet on your races via ADW, but you can’t bet on your own races, or any other races via ADW.  It’s ridiculous and I feel for you.

  • Jack

    cheers

  • Ron

    Sure and the democratic gov pat quinn is a great friend to racing. 

  • Ron

    People in Illinois are still using Twinspires.

  • Charlie Davis

    Yeah, they are, but not legally.  And they can only play through Twinspires, so they’re still getting screwed.  

  • Ron

    I use twinspires. Fine with me.

  • onetrickpony

    Ridiculous… I have been with Xpressbet for years, and play mainly the major New York and California tracks. I live in Illinois and I cant play any tracks now via Xpressbet. They have even shut off live streaming to all tracks. This is a bunch of horseshit.

    • Reesed1179

      I agree, the want you go to a gambling boat where you have no chance at all.

    • Don Reed

      My condolences.  Time to move to another state.

  • onetrickpony

    Ridiculous… I have been with Xpressbet for years, and play mainly the major New York and California tracks. I live in Illinois and I cant play any tracks now via Xpressbet. They have even shut off live streaming to all tracks. This is a bunch of horseshit.

  • Reesed1179

    I agree, the want you go to a gambling boat where you have no chance at all.

  • Don Reed

    My condolences.  Time to move to another state.

  • Katman1151949

    twinspires stopped taking bets last night

  • Katman1151949

    attention all illinois bookies ur back in buisness

    • 3875waldo

      Excellent point.  Good luck trying them to return to the old business; they’re making too much money now running Obama Care.

    • Pat

      Amen brother! That is simple, bookies are back in business.

  • Katman1151949

    attention all illinois bookies ur back in buisness

  • 3875waldo

    Excellent point.  Good luck trying them to return to the old business; they’re making too much money now running Obama Care.

  • 3875waldo

    This is reading like Nevil Shute’s novel, On The Beach (radio signals/broadcasts  from various cities still alive after the a-bomb war going out one by one).

  • Gorabear

    The State is in dyer need of funds and literally turns down a source of
    $1.75 million in taxes. There is no need to elaborate on the intelligence of Illinois
    Legislators.

  • Gorabear

    The State is in dyer need of funds and literally turns down a source of
    $1.75 million in taxes. There is no need to elaborate on the intelligence of Illinois
    Legislators.

  • DISGUSTED

    GOV. QUINN LOVES TO REJECT GAMBLING BECAUSE HE SAYS PEOPLE IN ILLINOIS CANT A FFORD TO LOSE MONEY GAMBLING. YET, EVERYTIME WE TURN AROUND THE “GREAT ” GOVENOR IS RAISING TAXES THAT WE SUPPOSEDLY CAN AFFORD??. LET PEOPLE MAKE THEIR OWN DECISION IF THEY WANT TO GAMBLE.

    WHY DOESNT HE LOOK ITO THE OTHER STATES AND SEE HOW MUCH REVENUE IS GENERATED THRU SLOTS ON TRACK AND ADWS BETTING!!!

    THANKS DISGUSTED

  • DISGUSTED

    GOV. QUINN LOVES TO REJECT GAMBLING BECAUSE HE SAYS PEOPLE IN ILLINOIS CANT A FFORD TO LOSE MONEY GAMBLING. YET, EVERYTIME WE TURN AROUND THE “GREAT ” GOVENOR IS RAISING TAXES THAT WE SUPPOSEDLY CAN AFFORD??. LET PEOPLE MAKE THEIR OWN DECISION IF THEY WANT TO GAMBLE.

    WHY DOESNT HE LOOK ITO THE OTHER STATES AND SEE HOW MUCH REVENUE IS GENERATED THRU SLOTS ON TRACK AND ADWS BETTING!!!

    THANKS DISGUSTED

  • VDARST

    I e-mailed Sen. Lang and he said that he is hopeful something will get done soon–and they wonder why horse racing is on life support in Illinois

  • VDARST

    I e-mailed Sen. Lang and he said that he is hopeful something will get done soon–and they wonder why horse racing is on life support in Illinois

  • john

    how can anything be illegal in the state of illinois
    ,when i heard you can swipe a link card at the casino, and play the lottery on line. i would say most people that do adw are tax paying  sports, and alot would have worked 42 to 46 years , and have the funds to bet beautiful tracks around this great country

  • john

    how can anything be illegal in the state of illinois
    ,when i heard you can swipe a link card at the casino, and play the lottery on line. i would say most people that do adw are tax paying  sports, and alot would have worked 42 to 46 years , and have the funds to bet beautiful tracks around this great country

  • Knklad

    Find it amazing that a state that is crying they are broke just turns its back on 1.72 million in tax revenue because they cant get around to renewing a license

  • Knklad

    Find it amazing that a state that is crying they are broke just turns its back on 1.72 million in tax revenue because they cant get around to renewing a license

  • Steve1golf

    Illinois is the worst State in the Union. The Democratic
    Party and Unions are bringing this State down the Crapper.  I can’t wait to get my business and self  the hell out of Illinois!

  • Pat

    Illinois should be a good place to open a small business at this time such as a bookie establishment. Just like days of prohibition!

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