09/07/2007 12:00AM

Fair Grounds slots opening set


Fair Grounds will open a temporary slot-machine parlor on Sept. 21, the New Orleans track announced Friday.

The temporary parlor will be on the first floor of the former simulcast building, adjacent to the Fair Grounds grandstand, and will house up to 250 machines. The opening of the temporary facility still has to be approved by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, which is scheduled to meet Sept. 18.

Ground has been broken on the permanent slots facility, which is scheduled to open in November 2008 and house up to 700 machines. The construction project will affect the upcoming season, which starts in late November, by cutting down on available parking and closing two entrances.

Purse money for the 2007-08 meet will begin accruing as soon as the slots are open for business, and will be added to the purse structure as soon as the meet begins. Last season's Fair Grounds meet already was awash in purse money generated by strong business at video poker facilities associated with Fair Grounds offtrack betting locations.