Arkansas is one of the states working towards elevating the performance of its gaming field and capitalizing on its offerings, joined by projections for it. Another county has joined the consideration of casino introduction and this is Russellville County which could see the expansion with the help of an appointed ballot. Development is expected to take place this Thursday, as a resolution preventing further action in the case of nixing it is also set to be introduced.
This week is an important one for the state authorities as it could bring more clarity to the potential gambling field expansion. The county is yet to see the amendment being voted at the monthly congregation of Russellville’s City Council. The community has to have a saying when it comes to gambling expansion as this would directly affect their lives in the long run. However, if the voting this weekends up being negative and not enough support has been expressed towards the construction of a casino facility in the region, a special resolution is going to be introduced, aiming to prevent further action from taking place.
Among the needed steps towards licensing for operation is the letter voicing support of the idea written by the County judge or Russellville County Quorum Court, as well as the Mayor. Alderman Mark Tripp stated that the county’s voters would have the ultimate saying, as their voice has more weight to it. It would only provide the community with the official stance of the authorities on the case. More gambling offerings would ultimately result in people paying within the state borders instead of pouring their money in neighboring states such as Missouri and Mississippi.
This would define the state as a competitive one, claiming its fair share of the US gambling industry. For the past several months a special casino amendment has been considered across the state, as it has the potential to shape the field and bring casino venues to the region. A total of four counties to the liking of Pope, Jefferson, Crittenden, and Garland are set to witness the impact of gambling if green light is given.
Forecasts Predict Cloudy Gambling Field
If this effort brings changes to the field with the help of the ballot, this would mean that Pope and Jefferson Counties would witness brand new casino venues, respectively Russellville Casino and Pine Bluff Casino. In the meantime, Crittenden and Garland Counties would welcome more gaming offerings at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs and Southland Park Gaming and Racing in West Memphis.
They would see new gaming activities introduced, as for the time being they have a limited set of offerings on site.
The state itself has projected some revenues if gambling is in fact subjected to the proposed casino amendment. As it turns out, the tax revenue over the span of the following two fiscal years would witness reducing of some $36 million.
Estimations have been provided by Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration which extend to the third year of operation, expected to bring a slightly smaller figure of $14 million less revenue. This is all going to be caused by the implementation of a 13-percent tax rate applied on net gambling receipts below the $150-million mark. In addition to that, receipts above this amount would be subjected to a tax amounting to 20 percent.
At the moment, there is an 18-percent tax on said receipts that is later utilized by the general revenue. Meanwhile, Driving Arkansas Forward still has time to collect the needed number of signatures in support of its ballot title which would go by the name of Arkansas Casino Gaming Amendment of 2018. As of this moment, the group has yet to reach its initial goal of amassing 94,880 signatures in support.
Following a 30-day extension, the new deadline for submitting them to the authorities is set to 24th August and according to members of the group, the goal is realistic, as there are canvassers progressing their work every day.