07/05/2002 12:00AM

Southern Indiana OTB approved

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The Indiana Horse Racing Commission has approved an offtrack betting location in Evansville, not far from Ellis Park in Kentucky.

The Evansville OTB location was sought by the owners of Indianapolis Downs, the $30 million harness track currently under construction and scheduled to open on Dec. 6. The OTB will be the first to open in the southern half of the state.

All of Indiana's other OTB's are located in the northern part of the state because Hoosier Park, owned by Churchill Downs Inc., did not want to open up parlors in competition with its Kentucky tracks, which include Ellis Park.

Hoosier officials lodged objections to the Evansville location at the commission meeting on Tuesday, but regulators dismissed their concerns.

"I have nothing but positive things to say about this location," said Joe Gorajec, the executive director of the commission, in an Associated Press report.