Arkansas court clears way for public casino vote

Arkansas voters will mark their ballots on 6 November after the state’s Supreme Court cleared the way for a public vote on whether to allow four casino licenses in the state.

arkansas

The court rejected two challenges to the proposal, called Issue 4, which would permit the state to issue the licenses and allow sports betting.

Those challenges were made by campaign groups Ensuring Arkansas' Future and Citizens for Local Choice, to stop Secretary of State Mark Martin from certifying votes on Issue 4.

The committee from Ensuring Arkansas’ Future claimed the popular name of the issue was insufficient and sided with the Citizens for Local Choice committee in claiming the ballot title was also insufficient.

The committees argued the popular name was misleading, as it suggests the Racing Commission must issue four licenses, and that the ballot title omitted necessary information.

A statement from the court said: “We conclude that this is not misleading. A popular name need not identify all future scenarios. The popular name is an identification tool and simply cannot explain every eventuality of the actual amendment."

A study funded by the group in support of retaining casinos and adding sports betting, Driving Arkansas Forward, concluded that should the upgrades and attendance meet expectations, the economic impact of Issue 4 could create 6,000 more jobs.

Proposed changes to Arkansas’ casino legislation were last voted upon in 2000. At that time, more than 309,000 people voted for the proposal, while more than 544,000 voted against.

 

 


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