West Memphis Dog Track to Expand Hours of Operation

WEST MEMPHIS, AR - Southland Park in West Memphis will soon be open an additional 12 hours each weekend.  The move comes as the dog track tries to lure more gamblers in to use its electronic games of skill.

The Arkansas Racing Commission voted today to allow the dog track's electronic games of skill to remain open on weekends from 10 a.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Sunday.  Currently, the park closes its operations at 2 a.m.

The dog track will not be allowed to hold races past midnight.  Southland said it hopes to expand its hours in early August.

General Manager Jerry Baldwin says the track does not have any plans to try and expand its hours of operation during the week.

Legislators in 2005 approved a measure that permitted voters in Hot Springs and West Memphis to decide whether to allow electronic games of skill in their cities.  Last year, voters in West Memphis overwhelmingly approved allowing the machines while a similar measure narrowly passed in Hot Springs.

A lawsuit by an anti-gambling group to challenge the vote is pending before the Arkansas Supreme Court.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)