Course Closes Public On-Site Wagering,
Will Conduct "Studio
Racing" with Mobile/Online Wagering Due to COVID-19
IL – In consultation with and approval from the Illinois Racing Board,
Hawthorne Race Course will close its public wagering
facilities at the track and all Illinois off-track betting locations to limit
the spread of COVID-19. The decision was made in support of Governor
Pritzker's mandate that all Illinois bars and dine-in restaurants close on-site
operations until March 30th.
cooperation with the Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association, Hawthorne will host
"studio racing" at its 113-acre facility. Races will be
broadcast nationally allowing for mobile, online and retail wagering from
venues in other states and around the globe.
people think of the race tracks as the only business
entities involved in the operation of racing, but the truth is that there are
hundreds of small businesses throughout the state owned and operated by
Illinois horsemen. While we want the public to be able to enjoy live
racing, these are unprecedented times. This option keeps people working
in our industry and maintains the fitness and safety of horses while limiting
public interaction," said Tim Carey, president and general manager of
Hawthorne Race Course.
with the Friday, March 20 racing card (Hawthorne's next scheduled night of
racing), only personnel essential to conduct races will be allowed onto the
grounds of Hawthorne. Additionally, only licensed personnel will be
allowed into the backstretch and paddock area for racing and daily care of
horses stabled at Hawthorne. On-site wagering at Hawthorne and Illinois
OTBs will close beginning March 17th.
will continue to work closely with the Illinois Racing Board, Governor's
Office, and Illinois horsemen in keeping with the latest recommendations from
the Center for Disease Control regarding business operations during the
coronavirus pandemic to ensure the safety of the public.