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OTB plan for Villa Park nearing home stretch
By James Fuller | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 3/11/2008 11:06 AM

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The Illinois Racing Board this morning gave Arlington Park conditional approval to open the joint betting parlor and restaurant along North Avenue.

The only requirement the Arlington Heights racetrack must meet to secure a state permit is for Villa Park to approve a zoning issue related to the project.

Villa Park officials will need to change local zoning laws to allow the OTB facility. A hearing on the zoning revision could happen as soon as Thursday.

If everything goes as planned, Arlington Park and Salerno Pincente Ristorante could open a 10,000-square-foot facility by October.

The off-track betting parlor is expected generate an estimated $100,000 a year in racing profits for Villa Park and create 30 to 50 new jobs.

But opponents argue the facility would be located too close to Inter-Track Partners' existing 25,000-square-foot off-track betting parlor in nearby Oakbrook Terrace.

Opponents have been lobbying local businesses and residents, addressing church congregations and circulating petitions to pressure Villa Park leaders to reject the OTB proposal.