The proposal to expand casino gambling isn’t yet assured a spot on the November ballot because of pending lawsuits, but lots of
Rep. Vivian Flowers of Pine Bluff passed on notice of a forum she’s scheduled at 6 p.m. Monday at SEARK in Pine Bluff that will include at least one backer and at least one opponent of the constitutional amendment that would allow casinos in Pine Bluff and Russellville and cement the legality of existing “electronic” casinos at Oaklawn and Southland Parks. The amendment also would clear the way for sports bookmaking there.
A ministerial group in Pine Bluff has already announced opposition to a casino in Pine Bluff. The amendment allows an open application process, but placement is allowed on approval of a county judge or mayor. A vote isn’t provided for local residents.
The link to Flowers’ Facebook notice is interesting for the mix of comments. Good for the economy? Not so good for the economy? Who gets the tax money?
Flowers said the head of the Quapaw Tribe, which is underwriting much of the cost of the casino campaign, will be on hand.
Some resistance has emerged in Russellville, also targeted by an Indian gambling organization.
Local reaction is a factor, of course. But voters statewide will decide. Until now, Arkansas voters haven’t been receptive to casino gambling. The existing racinos were enabled by legislative sleight of hand — “electronic games of skill.”