Bill to improve Fair Grounds’ conditions clears House

Legislation aimed at improving the horse facilities at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans zipped through the Louisiana House Wednesday.

State Rep. Patrick Connick, R-Marrero, said House Bill 1223 would require that Churchill Downs spend a portion of its slot machine revenue on the facility’s horse racing component. The House voted 94-0 in favor of the legislation.

Churchill Downs officials fought the bill in committee, saying the horse racing industry is in a slump.

Connick and others countered that the only reason slot machines were allowed at the racetrack was to support horse racing.