Southland Park Plans $40 Million Upgrade

JULY 28, 2006 - Posted at 3:39 p.m. CDT

WEST MEMPHIS, AR - Officials at Southland Greyhound Park Gaming and Racing in West Memphis hope $40 million in improvements can lure gamblers away from Tunica and toward their dog track.

Barry Baldwin, president of Southland Racing Corporation, says the dog track will be transformed into a glittery entertainment complex for its planned grand opening in November.

The track, which opened in 1956, is Arkansas' only greyhound race track.  But, under a new state law passed last year, voters in Hot Springs and West Memphis have voted to allow electronic games of skill.

Renovations at Southland include a 110,000-square-foot nightclub and bar, a 280-seat casino style buffet, a 450-seat special events center, new landscaping, a new facade and an electronic gaming room.

The Arkansas Racing Commission is to decide what qualifies as an electronic game of skill.  Commissioners met this month but said several legal and budgetary questions would have to be resolved before they can approve the game regulations.

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