I cannot think of any other sporting industry that receives as much pampering as horse racing. This industry is falling apart at the seams. Even with government subsidies many horse racing venues cannot seem to turn a profit. Yet, state government after state government continue to prop up this hobbling giant instead of letting it go the way of the dinosaur. Anyone that has followed my writing know that I am not even remotely a fan of the special treatment that racetracks receive. Yet, as much as I despise the idea, I have also spent a lot of time trying to figure out why states would choose to do such a thing and why they would allow totally unrelated racetracks to take a share of the revenues produced by slot machines. It turns out that tradition has a lot to do with it. Horse racing, at one point in time was a widely popular activity. Horse racing was one of the few events that both people at the very top and the very bottom of the social strata would gather for in the same place. In a state like Illinois, where once again the horse racing industry is shouting as loud as it can for state legislators to allow them to operate slot machines, racing played a huge roll in shaping the state’s politics. Everyone from Abraham Lincoln to Al Capone was known to have wagered on races in the state. I suppose people have trouble letting go of an industry with that much history.