- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Louisiana State Racing Commission has delayed action on a new 10-year license for Churchill Downs Inc. to hold horse racing and operate slot machines at The Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans.

The commission’s decision to delay action Tuesday follows complaints from the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and others about conditions at the track. NOLA.com ‘ The Times-Picayune reports (https://bit.ly/PrtghB) that the Racing Commission scheduled a special meeting May 1 to discuss the licensing.

Fair Grounds president Tim Bryant issued a statement saying the track has provided the commission with a plan to improve facilities and operations.

Meanwhile, a bill moving through the state Legislature would require that 10 percent of net slot machine proceeds at the track go to maintenance and capital improvements.

“We have submitted a plan to the Louisiana Racing Commission that we are confident will improve the Fair Grounds racing facility and operations,” Bryant said in an emailed statement. “We have been asked to provide more information with regard to four areas: the turf course, marketing, service and backstretch facilities and we will certainly do that. We look forward to further discussions and continuing to show our commitment to Fair Grounds racing in New Orleans.”

In Baton Rouge, Rep. Patrick Connick, R-Marrero, recently won unanimous House approval of the bill regarding slot revenue. Action is pending in the Senate.

Churchill Downs bought the Fair Grounds in 2004.

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Information from: The Times-Picayune, https://www.nola.com

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