- Associated Press - Friday, September 6, 2019

BOSSIER CITY, La. (AP) - Voters in Bossier Parish will vote next year on whether to allow off-track betting for horse racing events to help raise revenue.

News outlets report the Bossier Parish Police Jury voted unanimously Wednesday to hold a special election next spring.

Parish Attorney Patrick Jackson says the change could help Harrah’s Louisiana Downs in Bossier City. The racetrack and casino’s vice president of operations, Eric Halstrom, says purse levels haven’t been competitive. He says allowing off-track betting could increase the purse by about a third, from $11 million to $15 million. He also says it could create jobs.

Video poker machines would be allowed at off-track betting location if the proposal passes. Half of wagers and 15% of video poker proceeds would go toward purses.

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