BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The death of Montgomery businessman Milton McGregor is raising questions about the future of the Birmingham Race Course.
McGregor died Sunday at 78 years old. Many considered McGregor a larger than life figure. A self-made man who ended up making millions of dollars in the gambling industry.
"Milton McGregor was the Birmingham Race Course. Mr. McGregor, it was always dependent on him," Joe Knight, Jefferson County Commissioner and member of the Birmingham Racing Commission said.
There are about 300 jobs at the race course. Profits had d ropped over the years. McGregor was a driving force for attempting to bring electronic and casino gambling to Birmingham to infuse new revenue for the operation.
"Without any additional revenue, the prospects of any track would be dim," Kip Keefer, Executive Director of the Birmingham Racing Commission said.
So far, all efforts to legalize gaming at the McGregor's Birmingham and Macon County tracks have failed.
"I don't feel like there is going to be any short term effects but long term it's certainly speculation to see what happens next," Keefer said.
Keefer also said McGregor's family may very well carry on and continue both tracks but the loss of McGregor will hurt. Knight says the Racing Commission hopes the race course stays open but there may be other options.
"That has always been a prime piece of land out there. There might be some other options or people who might be looking at that property. I don't know," Knight said.
Knight said there may be an emergency meeting of the Racing Commission to discuss the situation.