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Illinois Racing Board

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The Illinois Racing Board (IRB) is a quasi-independent State of Illinois agency that oversees and regulates the Illinois horse racing industry, including tracks that hold race meetings where wagers can be placed.[1]


As of 2021, the ICJIA derives its mission statement from the Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975. The Board enjoys jurisdiction, supervision, powers, and duties over every person who holds or conducts any race meeting within the state of Illinois where horse racing is permitted for any stake, purse, or reward. Toward this end, the Board enforces rules and regulations to ensure the honesty and integrity of Illinois horse racing and wagering. As of 2021, three horse racetracks remain in operation in Illinois:

  • Arlington Park
  • Fairmount Park Racetrack
  • Hawthorne Race Course

Two of the courses, Arlington and Hawthorne, are located in suburbs of Chicago. Fairmount is located in Downstate Illinois, near St. Louis. All three courses host thoroughbred race meetings between horses ridden by jockeys. During the race meetings, both the horses and the jockeys are under the Board's supervision. Of the three active courses, only one - Hawthorne - also hosts a meeting of harness racing between standardbred horses that pull drivers in light carts. The Board supervises the horses, carts, and drivers.[1]

The Racing Board approves times and dates for the race meetings. In a typical season, the Chicago-area race meeting schedule is set up so that when Arlington is racing thoroughbreds, Hawthorne will be holding races in harness. The race meeting schedules are posed on each track's website and on the website of the Racing Board. Subsidiary race meetings, typically between harness horses, are held at the Illinois State Fairgrounds Racetrack, the DuQuoin State Fair, and at several of the county fairs of Illinois.[1]

The Illinois Racing Board was founded in 1933.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Illinois Racing Board". www.illinois.gov/irb. State of Illinois. 2021. Retrieved February 13, 2021.

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