The group that has pushed to legalize casinos in the state of Arkansas – Driving Arkansas Forward – submitted another proposal for a constitutional amendment to the office of the local attorney general, despite the latter has already turned down a previous version of the proposal.
Yesterday, the group’s proposal seeking to see casino gambling legal in the state was revised. This time, the supporters of the constitutional amendment are looking to expand Arkansas gambling, by allowing expanded gambling options at horse and a greyhound tracks. For the time being, the latter already offer some electronic games and video poker to local customers.
Now, the proposed constitutional amendment’s wording will need the approval of the state attorney general in order for the Driving Arkansas Forward group to be given permission to start gathering signatures which it is expected to try and place on the November ballot.
Back in June 2017, a casino ballot proposal was rejected by Arkansas attorney general Leslie Rutledge, who at the time called the suggested bill too complex. According to the attorney general, the wording of the proposal was also flawed and confusing, which could result in misleading voters.
Four Casinos to Be Established if Ballot Is Successful
The constitutional measure that was proposed by the group would make casino gambling legal in the state of Arkansas. Four casinos are to be allowed to start operation under the amendment’s provisions and the tax revenue that would be collected from them to be redirected to cover highway needs. The ballot measure would require applicants to prove they are experienced enough in providing casino services and demonstrate their interest to invest no less than $100 million in such a facility. Of course, local officials would have to provide their approval for such venues.
Two of the four casinos planned as part of the casino legalization measure would be allowed to be situated or adjacent to the West Memphis’ Southland greyhound track and the Hot Springs’ Oaklawn horse track. For the time being, the tracks offer electronic “games of skill”. Both of them have previously opposed to the attempt for casino gambling expansion in the state.
The owner and operator of the Southland greyhound track – Delaware North – praised the measure proposal, saying that the ballot initiative would protect and expand the current gaming offerings of the track. According to Southland’s owners, the facility would continue to create jobs for the local community and to bring further benefits to the local economy such as increased revenue thanks to the casino gambling expansion.
Wayne Smith, the General Manager of Oaklawn horse track, shared that the track officials were still not aware about the details of the proposed ballot measure.
Apart from the two casinos that are to be allowed at the Southland and Oaklawn tracks, two other venues are to be greenlighted under the provisions of the casino expansion proposal. The first one of them is to be situated in Jefferson County, while the other is to be set in Pope County.