The Supreme Court of the United States has denied certiorari in the case of Empress Casino Joliet, Giannoulias, and that means money generated by Illinois riverboat casinos will soon be flowing into horse racing purse accounts in Illinois, with a 35 percent increase expected for harness purses.
The Empress Casino Joliet Corp. v. Giannoulias case was an appeal of the decision by the Illinois Supreme Court upholding a 2006 Illinois statute under which ak portion of the money generated by Illinois riverboat casinos is directed into the state's Horse Racing Equity Fund, which then splits the money on between purses (60 percent) and racetrack improvements (40 percent).
The four casinos involved in the Empress Casino Joliet Corp. case argued that the law created an unconstitutional taking, but the U.S. Supreme Court, in denying certiorari, upholds the Illinois Supreme Court decision.
Recently Tony Somone, executive director of the Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association, said the action which upholds the Illinois statute will bring in $12 million for purses, and was hopeful money could start flowing into the purse accounts in two weeks to 30 days. He expected harness purses to increase by 35 percent for about 20 months.