Arkansas Pro-Casino Group Raises $1M in July for Proposal

Driving Arkansas Forward, the political group seeking to legalize casinos in the state, reports more than $1 million from its July fundraising efforts. The majority of the funding came from American Indian tribes in Oklahoma.

According to documents filed with the state, the political group reported July spending of nearly $1.5 million. The money was spent in various campaign efforts for the group's proposed constitutional amendment. Their current bankroll, according to public record, is at $61,086.

With voter approval, the amendment would authorize the state to issue up to four casino licenses. The proposal specifies the destinations for the casinos as Pope and Jefferson counties, along with the addition of casino gambling at the Hot Springs Horse Track and the West Memphis dog track.

The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, through their Downstream Development Authority, contributed $489,000 to the campaign last month. The registered Business of the Cherokee Nation brought the total for the month to $1 million with a donation of $525,300.

The Arkansas State Secretary's office awarded the group an extension until August 24 to collect and submit additional signatures after their first submission was rejected due to unverified signatures. Driving Arkansas Forward has less than one week to collect the necessary 85,000 from registered voters.

Critics of the proposal say it is not going to bring in any more dollars to the state, but will be used to lower income and property taxes and build new highways. Proponents claim it will boost state tax revenue by roughly $66 million. 

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