Horse Track, Casino Proposed for Memphis

MAY 5, 2006 - Posted at 4:08 p.m. CST

MEMPHIS, TN - A long-time horse racing supporter has proposed building a $400 million horse track, casino and hotel in Memphis that would be put on a referendum for voter approval.

Richard "Sonny" Bauman has called for state legislation to allow the casino as the only one in Tennesee, where casino gambling is illegal.

The facilities were proposed for the Mid-South Fairgrounds, and the city has hired a consultant to recommend the best use for the property.

City officials do no seem very excited about Bauman's proposal.

Chief financial officer Robert Lipscomb says casinos aren't legal in Tennessee.

A horse track also would have a hard time getting approval because the state Racing Commission was abolished in 1998.  Under Bauman's plan, the commission would be revived.  Without it, the track could not operate.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)