Work underway on $100 million expansion at Oaklawn

    The expansion was announced shortly after Arkansas voters in November legalized casino gambling at four sites in the state, including Oaklawn.

    HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — Construction is now underway on a $100 million expansion at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs.

    The expansion was announced shortly after Arkansas voters in November legalized casino gambling at four sites in the state, including Oaklawn. The planned expansion includes adding a hotel, an event center, and an additional 28,000 square feet (2,600 square meters) in the casino area.

    The Arkansas Racing Commission approved casino licenses March 23 for Oaklawn and for Southland Gaming and Racing at West Memphis.

    Oaklawn spokeswoman Jennifer Hoyt tells The Sentinel-Record that work on the expansion began shortly after the end of the live racing season earlier this month.

    While Oaklawn has no plans for a formal groundbreaking ceremony, Hoyt said as progress continues more regular updates will be made available.

    "This week we made a bunch of progress. We're building six new barns this year. We've taken down most of Barn 29. Next to our HR building, we've got the new storage building. But, of course, the first thing people will notice is the new light (traffic signal) going in -- the new entrance," she said.

    "By the time we're finished, we will have built a total of 14 new barns since 2015. I don't know of any other racetrack putting that much effort in."

    The project is expected to be complete before the start of next year’s live racing season.

    Cover photo from America's Best Racing

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