01/31/2002 12:00AM

Louisiana Downs OTB up for vote

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BOSSIER CITY, La. - Louisiana Downs is seeking to open an offtrack betting parlor in Webster Parish, but approval must first come from the residents of the parish in an April 6 referendum. Among the locations under consideration for the facility is the town of Minden, about 20 miles east of Louisiana Downs along busy Interstate 20.

The facility would be the first for Louisiana Downs, which can open up to two offtrack betting locations in each of the parishes adjacent to Bossier Parish: Desoto, Webster, and Caddo.

Louisiana Downs will soon approach officials in Caddo Parish, which includes the larger market of Shreveport - just across the Red River from Louisiana Downs - regarding an offtrack parlor there, said attorney James Davis, who heads the group that is currently in the process of purchasing the track.

* Delta Downs has cleared the final hurdle in its long road toward slot machines, and its casino will open for business on Feb. 13 according to Rob Stillwell, spokesman for Delta's parent company, Boyd Gaming.