The Quad City Downs held its 2nd Annual Downs Reunion on Saturday, October 19th, 2013. The last time a horse raced at the track was in 1993.
The reunion was organized by former employees who once worked the tables, in the dining room, and the parking lot.
“We wanted to get everybody back to reminisce and try to push for a level playing field on the gaming issue,” said John Barton.
Barton hopes Governor Pat Quinn finally signs the Illinois Gaming Bill, so the Quad City Downs can reopen.
“I would love the Governor to sign a bill that levels the playing field, for the standard-bred and the thoroughbred industry,” said Barton.
Barton says the gaming industry in Illinois is slowly dying unlike other states, which are profiting from the industry.
The Illinois Gaming Bill known as SB1849 has already been vetoed twice by Quinn.
However, the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Roberta Rita (D-Blue Island) is heading to Springfield next week to discuss the bill.
If the bill is approved, there could be five casinos opened in Illinois including one in Chicago.
The bill would also allow for 900 slot machines at racetracks outside of Chicago.
The Quad City Downs would also see live horse racing again.
The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, October 23th, 2013. Lawmakers say it is unlikely a bill will pass this fall.