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Balmoral Hit with Violations

21 March 2005

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times: "Balmoral Park Race Track has been slapped with more than 300 state fire-code violations after going years without being cited once by the state fire marshal's office, an agency under federal investigation.

"Before Gov. Blagojevich's administration, fire marshal brass suggested that inspectors 'accommodate' racetracks and casinos 'any way you can' because they have been generous campaign donors to a long line of governors, veteran fire marshal sources said.

"Balmoral, which has not been linked to the federal probe, vouches for the safety of its south suburban racetrack, where nearly 400,000 bettors converged in 2003 and wagered $172.7 million.

"…The problems noted included having an alarm and sprinkler system that did not appear to have been tested, sprinkler pipe joints secured by duct tape, barns and a worker residence building with doors that locked from the outside and inadequate sprinklers in the track's grandstand area.

"…Since the August report, Balmoral has been making repairs and upgrades, said Balmoral President John Johnston, who expressed assurances the facility is safe and pledged 'the no-nonsense organization we are, this stuff is getting done.'…"

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