Group Sidesteps Attorney General in Casino Bid

April 19, 2018 | Posted in Casinos | By

Recently we have written about efforts by the Quapaw Tribe in Oklahoma and the group Driving Arkansas Forward to build casinos in Arkansas.

Under their proposed constitutional amendment, four casinos would be authorized in Garland, Crittenden, Pope, and Jefferson counties. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has rejected wording for the proposal multiple times, citing ambiguities in the measure’s ballot title.

This week the group asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to approve the measure’s wording and let them start gathering petition signatures to place the casino amendment on the 2018 ballot — despite the fact the Attorney General’s office has said the measure’s wording is deficient.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports lawyers for Driving Arkansas Forward told the Arkansas Supreme Court that the A.G. has abused her duties in failing to approve the casino amendment.

I am not aware of any past group sidestepping the Arkansas Attorney General’s office this way. Instead of working with the A.G. to write an unambiguous ballot proposal — the way pas groups have done — Driving Arkansas Forward is asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to usurp the Attorney General’s authority.

Casino gambling is linked to homelessness, domestic violence, divorce, and bankruptcy. It’s a blight on the community. Arkansas already has enough problems from gambling. We don’t need any more.

The Attorney General was right to reject this casino proposal; the Arkansas Supreme Court should do the same.

A.G. Rejects Another Casino Amendment

April 12, 2018 | Posted in Casinos | By

This week Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to open four casinos in Siloam Springs, AR; Texarkana, AR; Omaha, AR; and the Little Rock area.

The A.G.’s office rejected the proposal due to ambiguities in the amendment’s ballot title.

This casino amendment reportedly is backed by the group Arkansas Wins, who sponsored a similar measure in 2016.

The Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma gave Arkansas Wins $6 million in 2016 to fund their casino proposal, but it ultimately was removed from the ballot at the last minute. The Cherokee Nation also would have operated one of the casinos the 2016 amendment authorized. It is not clear at this point if the Cherokee Nation would operate casinos under the 2018 proposal.

Meanwhile, The group Driving Arkansas Forward has partnered with the Quapaw Indian Tribe in Oklahoma to bring casino gambling to Arkansas. They’ve submitted ballot proposals for casinos in Jefferson, Garland, Pope, and Crittenden counties. The Quapaw’s leadership has said they want to put a casino in Pine Bluff. Fortunately, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has blocked their proposals as well.

Casino gambling is linked to homelessness, domestic violence, divorce, and bankruptcy. It’s a blight on the community. Arkansas already has enough problems from gambling. We don’t need any more.

You can read the A.G.’s entire opinion here.

A.G. Rejects Another Casino Proposal

April 2, 2018 | Posted in Casinos, Gambling | By

Last Thursday Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge rejected a proposed constitutional amendment authorizing four casinos in Arkansas.

Under the amendment, one casino license would go to Oaklawn in Garland County; another would go to Southland in Crittenden County; and two more casinos would be built in Pope and Jefferson counties.

The proposal is similar to one the A.G. rejected a few weeks ago. The amendment reportedly is backed by the Quapaw Tribe in Oklahoma.

In related news, last week Talk Business and Politics reported a ballot question committee has formed to push for casino gambling in Pulaski, Miller, Boone, and Benton counties. The group is called Arkansas Wins In 2018, Inc, and it appears to be an effort to let out-of-state businessmen build casinos in Texarkana, Harrison, Little Rock, and Northwest Arkansas.

As the Associated Press reported last week, all of this is setting up the possibility for competing casino amendments appearing on the ballot this November. Fortunately, Arkansas’ Attorney General is successfully stopping these groups from foisting their gambling proposals on voters.

Casino gambling is linked to homelessness, domestic violence, divorce, and bankruptcy. It’s a blight on the community. Arkansas already has enough problems from gambling. We don’t need any more.

You can read the A.G.’s entire opinion on the casino amendment here.

Photo Credit: By Toni Lozano [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons