Fair Grounds to Open Temporary Casino

Fair Grounds in New Orleans, La., will open a temporary slot-machine facility Sept. 21, track president Randall Soth announced Sept. 7.

The 10 a.m. CDO opening is subject to the approval of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.

Fair Grounds will be the first racetrack owned by Churchill Downs Inc. to offer slot-machine gaming, but the last of four tracks in Louisiana.

A ceremonial ribbon cutting will precede the public opening, after which hours for the temporary facility will be 9 a.m.-midnight Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m.-midnight Sunday. The casino is located on the first floor of the building adjacent to the grandstand that was previously used for year-round simulcasting. It will house up to 250 of reel and video products.

The slots mix includes penny, two-cent, nickel, quarter, and dollar games. Also on the floor are a number of stand-alone, in-house, and wide-area progressive machines, including the popular “Wheel of Fortune” game.

Patrons can enter and exit Fair Grounds through the main gates on Gentilly Boulevard. Because staging for construction of the permanent facility has begun, vehicular traffic will be directed along the southern side of the property to reach both the temporary facility and the simulcasting area, located on the west side of the grandstand. Bicycle and foot traffic will be directed to the apron between the grandstand and the racetrack.

The permanent facility, which will house up to 700 machines, will be located adjacent to the east end of the grandstand. It has a targeted opening of November 2008.



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