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.
The following press release is from Family Council Action Committee.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 13, 2016
On Thursday the Arkansas Supreme Court disqualified ballot proposals, Issue 4 dealing with limits on damages in medical injury lawsuits and Issue 5, which opens three casinos in Arkansas, from the November ballot.
Family Council Action Committee Executive Director Jerry Cox released a statement, saying, “In my opinion, both of these measures were seriously flawed and needed to be removed from the ballot. While I support general medical malpractice reforms for doctors, Issue 4 could have made it possible for some nursing homes to neglect residents without facing sufficient consequences. Issue 5 would have brought casinos to three counties in Arkansas, and it would have written a specific corporation from Missouri into our state’s constitution. I am glad to see the Arkansas Supreme Court has disqualified these proposals.”
Cox said he also believes the court should have ruled against the two marijuana ballot proposals as well in order to be consistent with this ruling. “The Arkansas Supreme Court disqualified Issues 4 and 5 in part because they failed to define some of their key terms in the proposals. Marijuana Issues 6 and 7 fail to define some of their key terms as well, but the court left those proposals on the ballot. The court was right to disqualify Issues 4 and 5, but by the same standard, the court should have disqualified the two marijuana measures as well.”
Family Council Action Committee is a conservative 501(c)(4) organization based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Photo Credit: By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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.