Oaklawn and Southland racetracks, which operate the two existing casinos in Arkansas, have taken care to express neutrality (in the case of Oaklawn) or nothing at all (Southland) about the Indian-tribe backed casino amendment that has qualified for the November ballot. Please. A lack of opposition IS support.
Elizabeth Robben Murray, the Friday firm lawyer who’s the reigning expert on ballot challenges and whose firm represents Oaklawn, has mounted on behalf of various corporate clients legal challenges to the minimum wage and term limits proposals, arguing in both cases that the petition drives failed to meet the ticky standards of paid canvassing rules the corporate lobby enacted to discourage popular amendments.
The casino backers used the same paid canvassing operation. No challenge
Understand this: The casino amendment is a windfall for Oaklawn and Southland, though it will create some casino competitors in Pine Bluff and Russellville. It would cut the gambling tax rate, expand gambling to include table games and bookmaking on sports and pump huge sums into the purse fund to create a way for Oaklawn, particularly, to put on national marquee stakes races. (Good four the tourism business, it should be noted.)
If the tracks were opposed, they’d do what they’ve done against past casino campaigns — unleash Betsy Murray and, if necessary, a torrent of paid advertising.
Their silence now is golden to the casino campaign.