SPRINGFIELD — Illinois lawmakers took steps Sunday to restore a law that would allow Illinoisans to bet on horse races via the Internet.

Almost six months after a law legalizing online gambling on racing expired, the House voted 90-18 to renew electronic wagering through the end of this year.

The measure, which now heads to the Senate for further consideration, comes after Illinois has lost potential revenue from online betting of the first two legs of the Triple Crown. In 2012, online gambling taxes generated $1.8 million for the state.

Opponents decried the measure because it contains a provision that breaks an earlier agreement with the horse racing industry and Chicago State University. The two entities previously were supposed to receive a cut of taxes from casino gambling.

A recent audit shows that the tracks never received any of the more than $115 million that was supposed to offset a loss in revenue when the casinos opened.

Under the legislation, the horse tracks will see only $23 million of that money. The university will get $1.4 million instead of an estimated $14 million.

State Rep. David Harris, R-Arlington Heights, said the state was being a "bad partner."

"The state made a deal with the horse racing industry and Chicago State," Harris said.

The legislation is Senate Bill 1884.

(1) comment

antigambler

Never believe any promises that involve gambling!

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