08/12/2005 12:00AM

Two Okla. tracks to get slots


The Oklahoma Racing Commission voted on Thursday to approve casino-style gambling machines at Remington Park in Oklahoma City and Blue Ribbon Downs in Sallisaw.

The approval was the final bureaucratic hurdle for the gambling operations at the tracks. Remington Park, which is owned by Magna Entertainment Corp., is expected to open a facility with 650 slot machines by late fall, and Blue Ribbon Downs, owned by the Choctaw Nation tribe, is expected to operate 250 machines.

Magna Entertainment recently said that it would spend $34 million on renovations to Remington Park for the gambling facility, which will compete with approximately 80 other casino sites already operating on American Indian reservations in the state.

Magna officials have estimated that the machines at Remington will provide enough subsidies to boost Thoroughbred purses at the track to $200,000 a day. Remington began its 2005 live Thoroughbred meet on Aug. 5, to run through Nov. 28.