Judge tosses Hot Springs suit over expanded gambling

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - A judge has thrown out a lawsuit that challenged a vote in Hot Springs that gave Oaklawn Park thoroughbred race track clearance to expand electronic gambling.

Special Judge John Lineberger ruled today that there were "no general issues of material fact" in the lawsuit. Lineberger granted a request by the defendants in the suit -- various state officials and Oaklawn Park -- that the court action be thrown out.

Before Lineberger's ruling, both sides in the case said they expected an appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court.

In December, lawsuits by the Family Council Action Committee were filed challenging the state law that allowed votes in Hot Springs and West Memphis as unconstitutional. Voters in West Memphis also approved a provision to allow "electronic games of skill" at the local track, Southland Greyhound Park. A ruling in the West Memphis lawsuit is pending.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)