Casinos Drain Nearly $2 Billion from State Economy in 2011

Oaklawn and Southland are the only two establishments in Arkansas permitted to offer “electronic games of skill”—a fancy term for casino gambling performed electronically, usually through a video screen. However, even though Arkansas is currently limited to two traditional gambling venues, Oaklawn and Southland still drained nearly $2 billion from the state’s economy in 2011. Wagers were up 100% at Southland and 45% at Oaklawn compared to 2010. This is disconcerting for two primary reasons.

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AG Approves Ballot Title for Casino Constitutional Amendment

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has approved the ballot title for Texas businessman Michael Wasserman’s proposed constitutional amendment to allow casinos in seven Arkansas counties—and his company would run them. He would also be granted a monopoly on casino gambling in the state. If Wasserman gathers enough signatures from Arkansas voters, his initiative will be on the 2012 general election ballot. Voters will then have the choice to either approve or disapprove Wasserman’s proposal. Read the attorney general’s opinion here.