In Family Council’s September update letter, we highlighted the proliferation of illegal gambling houses in Arkansas.
With the exception of the state lottery and the casinos and racetracks in Hot Springs and West Memphis, Arkansas law generally prohibits gambling.
However, we are hearing more reports of illegal gambling houses opening in some parts of Arkansas.
This week authorities in Jefferson County raided two suspected gambling houses–and they indicated other raids could happen in the future.
From what we have gleaned so far, one of these gambling houses appears to have been located in or near an old gas station; the other appears to have been located in a former or current bar or liquor store.
If you suspect a gambling house is operating in your community, please notify your local authorities. Then call us at (501) 375-7000.
Last week Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge rejected a proposed constitutional amendment legalizing casinos in Arkansas.
The A.G. called the proposal’s ballot title, “very confusing to the point of being nonsensical.”
As far as we can tell, the proposal effectively would have allowed casinos in any municipality with a population greater than 20,000 people.
This is not the first time efforts have been made to bring casino gambling to Arkansas. In 2005 the Arkansas Legislature passed legislation paving the way for “electronic games of skill” at Arkansas’ racetracks; these games look and function much like traditional casino games.
Constitutional amendments legalizing casino gambling elsewhere in Arkansas have been proposed almost every election year–including last year.
There are no two ways about it: Gambling is a blight on the community; we have seen time and time again how it hurts families and ruins lives. That’s why we oppose any effort to expand gambling in Arkansas.
This week Family Council wrote a letter to U.S. Senator Tom Cotton thanking him for co-sponsoring S. 1668, a federal law that cracks down on predatory Internet gambling.
Internet gambling is an Arkansas issue. The Arkansas Casinos Amendment that will appear on the November ballot arguably authorizes online casinos in Arkansas. It permits any gambling that is permitted in a number of other states, including Nevada, which has had Internet gambling since 2013.
Family Council always has opposed gambling—especially Internet gambling and any other type of gambling that may harm children. Evidence overwhelmingly shows compulsive gambling is higher among Internet gamblers than non-Internet gamblers, and minors who gamble are at greater risk of developing a gambling disorder.
The ability to gamble easily, quickly, and anonymously at home via multiple games or websites makes Internet gambling more dangerous than other forms of gambling.
We are grateful to U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton for his stance against predatory Internet gambling.