Casino Company Wants to Bring Video Poker to Southland, Oaklawn

JUNE 29, 2006 - Posted at 4:46 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A representative of a maker of casino games says he's excited about the possibility of bringing video poker to Southland Greyhound Park and Oaklawn Park.

Bill Bartholomay of WMS Gaming of Waukegan, Illinois, attended a meeting of the Arkansas Racing Commission this afternoon in Little Rock.  He says he hopes the commission will allow his company's video poker games to be placed at the racetracks.

Representatives of another casino game manufacturer, IGT, also attended.

Voters in Hot Springs and West Memphis approved in November a measure that allowed "electronic games of skill" at the tracks.  The state racing commission is in the process of forming regulations that determine what electronic games of skill are.  A final vote on the issue could come next Thursday.

Opponents of expanded gambling have said video poker helps create gambling addicts.  Representatives of the tracks have said the electronic machines would draw more people and improve the area's economies.

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