The Birmingham Racing Commission voted 3-1 Thursday to let gambling magnate Milton McGregor install a new type of gaming machine at the Birmingham Race Course. It resembles a casino-style slot machine but is based on horse racing.
Jefferson County Commissioneer Bettye Fine Collins opposed the machines. She said they appear to be another attempt to get around a state ban on electronic slot machines.
But the president of the company that developed the machines denied that. Lou Cella of RaceTech said the machines only resemble slots because gamblers like the look.
Alabama Attorney General Troy King's office issued an advisory opinion stating the machines are legal. The opinion said that's because there is an element of skill in playing the games.