Alan Henry

CDI Denied Illinois OTB Licenses

The Illinois Racing Board (IRB) on Thursday deadlocked 5-5 on a vote to allow Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), to retain control over simulcasting in 2022 at inter-track wagering (ITW) outlets that the gaming company currently operates under its expiring Arlington International Racecourse licensure. The tie in the voting meant the measure did not advance, and it did not come up for a re-vote. Several IRB commissioners and executives with the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (ITHA) expressed sentiments that Illinois racing will be better off in the long run without CDI's...

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CDI Grilled by IRB About Arlington's Control of ITWs

Exactly 50 days after executing a purchase-and-sale agreement that will see Arlington International Racecourse demolished to become the future site of a football stadium, the gaming corporation Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI) came before the Illinois Racing Board (IRB) Thursday to request 2022 licensure to retain control over simulcasting at its inter-track wagering (ITW) locations even though it won't be hosting any live racing next year. The IRB heard contentious pro-and-con testimony on the Arlington-related agenda items, but in the end essentially punted on the matter by voting 10-0 to "lay...

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Bears-Arlington Partnership 'Makes Too Much Sense to Blithely Dismiss'

As the only member out of 10 on the Illinois Racing Board (IRB) to directly address the pending closure of Arlington International Racecourse and the devastating effect it will have on the state's racing circuit, commissioner Alan Henry said at Thursday's monthly meeting that a losing bidder in the track's sale is still working behind the scenes to fashion a deal to keep racing alive alongside a new football stadium on the 326-acre parcel. Back on Sept. 29, Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), the gaming corporation that owns Arlington, announced the...

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As Arlington Closes, Hawthorne To Shoulder '22 Dual-Breed Dates Burden

Under the shadow of Arlington Park potentially going dark forever after Sept. 25, the Illinois Racing Board (IRB) on Thursday unanimously approved a 2022 race dates package that shifts the burden of hosting all Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing in the Chicago area to Hawthorne Race Course. And while horsemen's groups for both breeds expressed gratitude for Hawthorne stepping up to implement a crammed-and-jammed, year-long race calendar that will be unprecedented in Illinois racing, representatives of the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (ITHA) said during the Sept. 23 meeting that the new...

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News Analysis: Faced With Prospect of Losing Arlington, IRB Opts for Inaction

   One month to the date that Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), announced that it intends to sell Arlington International Racecourse near Chicago for "non-horse racing" purposes, the Illinois Racing Board (IRB) Tuesday had its first chance at an open, public meeting to weigh in on that potentially devastating decision. Yet instead of addressing head-on the prospect of Arlington vanishing or proposing ways in which regulators might help to salvage the state's signature Thoroughbred track, the eight IRB commissioners treated the most pressing Illinois racing issue in decades as the proverbial...

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