Depending upon the courts, an Oklahoma cockfighting arena could reopen this spring

Tuesday, January 20th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Thackerville-AP) -- With backing from a new owner, cockfighting at one of the state's largest venues could begin if the state's high court rules in favor of the blood sport.

Oklahoma City Attorney Hank Trattner says the Red River Game Club, located near the Oklahoma-Texas stateline was bought out of foreclosure by a Texas investment group.

The group plans to sell the property again.

Cockfighting at the 960-seat arena could start up again if the Oklahoma State Supreme Court says a law banning the blood sport is unconstitutional.

In 2002, Oklahomans voted to make cockfighting illegal, punishable by felony charges.

Days after the vote, cockfighting supporters went to court to block the law's enforcement and won injunctions in 27 of the state's 77 counties, including Love County.

A challenge of the law's constitutionality is pending before the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

A supreme court ruling is not expected until spring.