Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas Attorney General, rejected a proposal for a casino-legislation referendum, suggested by the state resident Barry Emigh, as being incomprehensible and confusing.
Even though Arkansas restricted its market in terms of gambling, there are still some legally operating casinos. In fact, these do not offer big choice in terms of games, since all type of wagering is outlawed. Arkansas has very strict rules to regulate the gambling industry, allowing only pari-mutuel betting at racetracks.
As a matter of fact, the Arkansas citizens are given the right to actively participate in the political life of the state and even suggest changes in the legislative system. Namely, that was the reason for Arkansas to be again the hotspot in the casino gaming scene. Barry Emigh, a resident in Hot Springs, tried to pass a proposal for a referendum, which will give the people the right to decide if commercial casinos should be allowed to operate legally in the state.
The proposal was not looked approvingly by Leslie Rutledge, the State’s Attorney General, who explained that the casino ballot proposal is written in a confusing way and the idea behind it is not clear. She totally impeached the idea for more casinos to be established in the state.
In response to her reaction, Emigh explained that he will revise his proposal, even though he shared his doubts that the Attorney General will let the amendment move forward. Furthermore, it appears to be a very hard task on the agenda for the year, having in mind the short deadlines. Emigh tries to amend the law, which restricts the gambling for years, but up to now his attempts appear to be unsuccessful.
Rutledge explained that the proposal of Emigh lacks the needed specifics. She added that the whole idea itself is put in a very complicated way, which raises concerns if the citizens will be able to understand it and take the right decision.
Furthermore, this undertaking seems to be impossible for one more reason, and that is the short time, in which Emigh should find 84,859 supporters in at least 15 different counties. Even if the State’s Attorney General had approved his proposal, it would be almost a mission impossible for the Hot Springs citizen to meet the required number of supporters. What is more is that a state poll, conducted in September 2016, shows that almost half of the Arkansas citizens are against the expansion of the casino industry.
Even though this is the fifth time, in which Emigh’s amendment is scratched off from the list of possible changes to the Arkansas Constitution, he considers to keep on trying till the proposal is finally approved. Heretofore, it seems that such changes will not affect the Arkansas legislative system, or at least not this year. But having in mind the rapid increase of the casino industry, Arkansas may soon surprise its residents with changes in the legislation.