Expanded Gambling Plans Forthcoming

WEST MEMPHIS (AP) _ Operators of the race tracks in Hot Springs and West Memphis are preparing to present plans for electronic gaming machines to the Arkansas Racing Commission.

A 2005 state law allowed Oaklawn Park and Southland Park to add electronic ``games of skill'' upon local voter approval. Voters approved the measures in November.

Oaklawn spokesman Terry Wallace says the horse racing track was working on a proposal to present to the commission at its next meeting. He says Oaklawn is considering having up to 125 games by the end of the year. He says the track hasn't decided which games it wants to install.

At Southland Park, operators say they hope to have up to 900 electronic gaming machines, including video poker, blackjack and ``re-spin'' slots, operating by November. Southland

President Barry Baldwin says the dog track will submit the plan to the Arkansas Racing Commission for its approval August 29th. Southland plans to install the machines in a 30-thousand-square-foot gaming area that would anchor 40 (m) million in improvements to the 50-year-old dog park.

Southland will show off the improvements, including a huge buffet and nightclub, in a grand opening November 1.

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