If all goes as planned, racing will return to the century-old Balmoral Park racetrack. The Chicago Sun Times reported that Philip Goldberg, a local businessman, has purchased the racetrack from New York-based national event production company HITS Inc and wants to restore it to its former glory.
Golberg noted that Balmoral Park was one of the most unique properties in Chicago land and it therefore deserved to be put back into action. Besides, he said that their plan was to make it a premier sports and entertainment venue sports that Chicago land and the south suburbs deserve.
State Rep. Thaddeus Jones (D-Calumet City) believes it can be done and is throwing his weight behind the plan. According to casino org, not all are supporting the plan, Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Association executive director Tony complained to the Sun Times about a “shroud of secrecy” that he said was concerning ‘Phil Goldberg’ He said that they were not ready to work with him because they didn’t know who he was; he was neither a racetrack person, nor a gaming person.
Balmoral has not hosted racing since its previous owners filed for bankruptcy, having been sued for $82 million by a group of Illinois casinos. The group accused a Balmoral executive of agreeing to bribe former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to force the casinos to share revenues with the state horse racing industry.
Plan to revive Tinley Park backfires
Another plan to revive a non-operational racetrack Tinley Park backfired after the proposed developer, local video-gaming terminal operator Rick Heidner, was linked to a banking family that has allegedly had financial involvement with Mob figures.
According to a Chicago Tribune investigation, Heidner has not been accused of doing anything wrong; however, the Priztker administration feared taking any chances and refused to sell him the plot of state-owned land earmarked for the project.