Arkansas Legalizes Sports Betting and Casino Gambling Expansion
Arkansas Legalizes Sports Betting and Casino Gambling after Arkansas voters took a vote on the issue on Tuesday. Thus, voters took action to approve a constitutional amendment allowing Arkansas to give licenses to four casinos.
The amendment in question is known to voters as Issue 4. This amendment authorizes the gambling expansion to two already existing gambling operators. These operators are Oakland Racing & Gaming in Hot Springs and Southland Gaming & Racing in West Memphis. In addition two more jurisdictions in Arkansas can now apply to operate a casino complete with a sportsbook.
According to the results on Wednesday the results were 54.07% in favor and 45.9% against the amendment. This means that casinos looking to become bookies as well are now able to make it happen.
Casino Gambling and Sports Betting Remains a Hot Issue in Arkansas
The gambling expansion in Arkansas is thanks in part due to a group known as Driving Arkansas Forward. This is because they made a lot of television and internet ads in favor of the amendment. Furthermore, they also placed an emphasis on several gambling studies about how it would generate 6,000 new jobs and add $5.8 billion to the economy.
In addition, gambling stakeholders along with the Quapaw and Cherokee tribes were supporters of the amendment. These tribe made contribution of over $4 million and are like to apply for one of the licenses.
On the other hand, religious leaders and anti-gambling groups were in opposition of the amendment. However, they were unable to keep the courts from striking down the bill. Furthermore, they were only able to raise a few thousand dollars to oppose it.
According to local sports news sources, the Family Council group will keep fighting to oppose casino gambling whenever possible. They believe that “these casinos are going to be festering sores in our communities”.