Return of Live Racing in Alabama Proposed

Thoroughbred racing could return to Birmingham Race Course in Alabama under a proposal set forth Wednesday by track magnate Milton McGregor.

McGregor said he would invest up to $40 million to upgrade the track if video gambling is allowed. He expects a bill on video gambling to be introduced during the current legislative session.

"I'm willing to take the chance to upgrade this facility," McGregor said. "We haven't been able to afford a face-lift, because of competition from 32 Mississippi casinos, four Native American casinos in Alabama, and two of the most successful state lotteries in Georgia and Florida, with Tennessee joining them."

Birmingham News reports space for roughly 3,000 video gambling machines would be provided and about $3 million would be spent to repair the track and stables.

Live horse racing at Birmingham ended in 1995. The track now offers live greyhound racing and Thoroughbred simulcasting.

Under McGregor's plan, Birmingham would offer live Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, and greyhound racing.

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