08/18/2002 11:00PM

Louisiana puts hold on applications


DALLAS - The Louisiana Racing Commission will not process any applications for new racetracks for at least one year, the panel announced at a meeting in New Orleans on Friday.

The commission has received inquiries from three separate parties wanting to open tracks in the state since the February launch of a slots parlor at Delta Downs in Vinton.

During the moratorium, the commission plans to conduct an economic impact study.

In addition to Delta, the first track in Louisiana to operate slots, the state is home to three other racetracks: Fair Grounds in New Orleans, Louisiana Downs near Shreveport, and Evangeline Downs in Lafayette.

In other business, the commission granted Evangeline an 82-day meet next year from April 4 to Aug. 23, but during the meeting, track officials asked to tack on five more dates to the meet. The amended request, which would put Evangeline at 87 days of racing through Sept. 1, is expected to be finalized Aug. 30.

Louisiana Downs was a awarded an 80-day Thoroughbred meet from June 27 to Nov. 9.