Proposal to Legalize Casino in Arkansas Revised to Include More Gambling

The group campaigning to put a casino measure on the November ballot in Arkansas submitted a revised proposal on Monday that includes more gambling. The revisions were prompted by comments from the state attorney general’s office, which rejected their first version of the measure.

The campaign group Driving Arkansas Forward is still seeking final approval from the state attorney general for a ballot measure that would legalize four casinos in the state. The state’s two racetracks; Oaklawn horse track in Hot Springs and the Southland greyhound track, have previously opposed efforts to legalize stand-alone casinos.

Both of the tracks offer electronic “games of skill,” but casinos providing poker and other table games would present a new form of competition. Based on feedback about gambling fairness from the state AG’s office, the campaign revised their proposal to include expanded gambling at racetracks.

The operators of Southland released a statement in favor of the revised proposal, saying it would both protect and expand their gaming, benefiting the local economy with more jobs and additional revenue. The operators of Oaklawn said they could not comment on the campaign at this time because they did not know the full details of the ballot measure.

The updated proposal requires applicants for state casino licenses to present proof they plan to invest at least $100 million in their proposed facility and to obtain letters of support from the local leaders in the communities where the casino would operate. Pending approval from the AG, the campaign must rush to collect signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

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