Slot Machine Group Spends $77K on Petition Drive

In February the group Arcade Arkansas spent more than $77,000 on its effort to put a gambling-machine amendment on the ballot this November, according to documents filed with the Arkansas Ethics Commission earlier this month.

The group’s proposal would legalize some 15,000 gambling machines statewide under the Arkansas Lottery and could create miniature casinos all over the state — with little or no oversight to prevent fraud or corruption.

In February the State Lottery Director came out against the proposal.

While the group has put serious money into its effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution, Arcade Arkansas reportedly has suspended its petition drive amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Meanwhile, the group Protect Arkansas Communities received approximately $400,000 in February from the corporations that own the casinos at Oaklawn, Southland, and Saracen.

Protect Arkansas Communities is opposing Arcade Arkansas’ gambling amendment.

Casino gambling is linked to homelessness, domestic violence, divorce, and bankruptcy.

Arkansas’ counties with casinos also have high poverty rates.

To put it plainly, gambling is a blight on the community.

Arkansas already has enough problems from casino gambling. We don’t need any more.

Photo Credit: Win win win! by Domas Mituzas, on Flickr

State Lottery Director Opposes Slot Machine Amendment

Last week Arkansas Lottery Director Bishop Woosley issued a public statement opposing efforts to bring casino-style gambling machines to Arkansas.

Woosley’s statement was part of a press conference by Protect Arkansas Communities, a group that opposes Arcade Arkansas’ slot machine measure.

Arcade Arkansas spent over $78,000 last month alone on its petition drive.

The group has until July 3 to gather nearly 90,000 valid petition signatures in order to place their proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

If passed, Arcade Arkansas’ measure would amend the state constitution to allow thousands of casino-style gambling machines all over Arkansas under the auspices of the state lottery.

This measure could potentially turn gas stations and convenience stores into miniature casinos offering gambling 24 hours a day.