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Ogden/fairmount, Inc. v. Illinois Racing Board

JULY 21, 1975.

OGDEN/FAIRMOUNT, INC., PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

ILLINOIS RACING BOARD, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT. — EAST ST. LOUIS JOCKEY CLUB, INC., PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

ILLINOIS RACING BOARD, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEALS from the Circuit Courts of Madison and St. Clair Counties; the Hon. FRED P. SCHUMAN, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE EBERSPACHER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

This is an appeal by the defendant, Illinois Racing Board (hereinafter "Board"), from orders entered by the circuit courts of Madison and St. Clair Counties reversing those portions of defendant Board's order which attached as a condition to the 1974 racing licenses granted the plaintiffs, Ogden/Fairmount, Inc., and East St. Louis Jockey Club, Inc., that plaintiffs not be permitted to charge more than 35 cents for their programs.

Each of the plaintiffs applied to the defendant Board for a racing license for the 1974 racing season. Defendant Board issued an order granting racing dates to the plaintiffs; however, attached to such grants were certain conditions, which included the condition that plaintiffs not charge more than 35 cents for their programs. The imposition of this condition was apparently premised on the defendant Board's finding that:

"Total attendance has generally declined at all racing meetings in Illinois in recent years, partially as a result of increases in prices for admissions, parking, programs, and concessions, and the reduction of quality in racing programs at thoroughbred meetings, despite the addition of gimmick wagering."

As a result of this finding the defendant Board concluded:

"The prices of admissions, parking, programs, and concession sales at all race tracks in Illinois have been sufficiently high in recent years to constitute one of the causes of the decline in attendance at both thoroughbred and harness meetings. Consequently, no applicants licensed in Illinois in 1974 will be permitted to raise any of their prices over 1973 levels without specific prior approval from the Board; and, East St. Louis Jockey Club, Inc. and Ogden/Fairmount, Inc., as a condition of receiving 1974 racing licenses, will not be permitted to charge more than thirty-five cents for their programs."

Thereafter, the defendant Board ordered, among other things, that:

"9. The licenses to be issued to Ogden/Fairmount, Inc. and East St. Louis Jockey Club, Inc. are conditioned upon the requirement that the prices to be charged for the programs to be sold by these two associations be no greater than thirty-five cents.

32. As a condition to the issuance to all of the above listed applicants to whom dates have been allotted, no such applicant may charge a price for any goods or services during 1974 in excess of the price charged for the same goods and services in 1973 without specific prior approval from the Board."

Subsequently, the plaintiffs each filed a complaint for administrative review alleging that the action of the defendant Board was illegal. The plaintiffs presented the following reasons for reversal of defendant Board's actions:

(1) that the Legislature did not grant to the Board the power to regulate or control prices of admission, parking, programs and concessions;

(2) that Rule 79(a) (Thoroughbred Racing) and 5.32 (Harness Racing) requiring the Board to approve prices on admission, goods or services provided are illegal and unauthorized;

(3) that Rule 79(a) and 5.32 are unconstitutional because they do not contain adequate standards, criteria or procedures for the determination of reasonable prices, thereby denying the plaintiffs ...


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