Politics

AR Voters Approve Casino Gaming Measure

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Arkansas voters have passed Issue 4, a constitutional amendment on casino gaming.

With 87% of precincts reporting Tuesday night, the vote was 54% for and 46% against.

The measure calls for four licenses to be issued for casino gaming at casinos, one each in Crittenden (to Southland Racing Corporation), Garland (to Oaklawn Jockey Club, Inc.) Pope, and Jefferson counties. 

Issue 4 adds a section to the Arkansas Constitution to authorize four casinos to operate in the state.

Passage of the amendment will:

  • Authorize four casinos to operate in the state, one in Jefferson County within two miles of Pine Bluff, one in Pope County within two miles of Russellville, one at or adjacent to Oaklawn Jockey Club in Garland County, and one at or adjacent to Southland Racing Corporation in Crittenden County.
  • Define what type of casino gaming may occur at the four casinos.
  • Prohibit people under 21 from gambling.
  • Assign the Arkansas Racing Commission to regulate the licensing and operation of the casinos.
  • Require the legislature to enact laws and appropriate funds for use by the Arkansas Racing Commission.
  • Establish minimum requirements for who can receive casino licenses in Jefferson and Pope County and require licensees to conduct casino gaming for as long as they have a license.
  • Require Arkansas Racing Commission to fund and work with Department of Human Services to implement and administer compulsive gambling disorder educational programs.
  • Authorize the Arkansas Department of Human Services to make rules to administer compulsive gambling disorder educational programs.
  • Establish tax rates on casino gaming net receipts and how that revenue is distributed.
  • Require greyhound and horse raising operators to contribute to racing purses and awards and for Southland to set aside money for capital improvements to its racing facilities.
  • Allow the casinos to operate any day, all day.
  • Allow the casinos to serve alcohol during all hours in which gaming takes place, regardless of whether the casino is located in a dry city or county.
  • Require casinos purchase alcohol from a licensed Arkansas wholesaler.
  • Permit the shipment of gaming devices to the casinos.
  • Establish that the amendment would not affect current laws regarding greyhound and horse racing, other gambling, bingos and raffles, the state scholarship lottery, or electronic games of skill.
  • Declare any state laws in conflict with this amendment would not apply to this amendment.

Click here for the latest unofficial results.


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