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Casino Gambling Law Considered Illegal by Some

Recently, in Arkansas, a casino gambling law, which had a great deal of casino pro-gambling interests represented during recent elections, seemed to control these government proceedings. According to gambling opponents, the law should be considered unconstitutional because of the large amount of concentration placed on the casino gambling issue. The Arkansas Family Council Action Committee filed two lawsuits Monday seeking to invalidate Act 1151 of 2005. The aforementioned law allowed officials of Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs and Southland Greyhound Park in West Memphis to add electronic ‘games of skill’ at each establishment to the recent elections in their area.

Voters approved expanded casino gambling in both cities in a special election November 8th, 2005. Family Council Director, Jerry Cox said, ‘This law has clearly altered the election laws of Arkansas for the convenience of Southland Racing Corp. and Oaklawn Jockey Club. This law is unconstitutional because it allowed private, self-interested franchises to arbitrarily exclude residents of Garland and Crittenden counties from a vote that greatly affects them.’ He accused legislators of obeying heavy lobbying efforts from casino gambling proponents. The law called for track officials to decide whether the elections would include county residents or be limited to city residents. Each chose a citywide referendum.

Cox feels that had members of the county been able to vote, the casino gambling expanding proposals would not have been passed. Many people who lived in neighboring cities in the county felt it was a ‘slap in the face’ that they did not have the option to vote. The outcomes of the lawsuits and expansion plans are yet to be determined. In the meantime, another battle on the casino gambling front is taking place in an average city of America.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.