Anti-Sports Betting Committee Files Lawsuit Against Arkansas Gaming Ballot
Arkansas recently approved a gaming ballot measure just last week, which would allow the legalization of casino gambling and sports betting in greyhound tracks and horse-racing tracks that are already existing in the state, as well as two proposed casinos near Pine Bluff and Russelville. However, this measure is being strongly opposed by a committee which has filed a lawsuit against it, asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to take it off the November ballot on the grounds that it is misleading, unfair, partial and unintelligible in “three particular instances.”
Last week, the office of the secretary of state, Mark Martin announced that it has approved the gaming ballot measure after a group called “Driving Arkansas Forward” had managed to gather a total of 99,988 signatures to get the ballot initiated. It exceeded the 85,000 signatures needed for the same purpose by a total of 14,988 signatures. As reported by the Associated Press, the measure is also supported by two Indian tribes who have each donated $1 million.
In a press conference which was held last week, Arkansas Governor, Asa Hutchinson, who is a Republican, said that he does not support this measure.
Responses to the lawsuit
After the lawsuit was filed, the group that is responsible for the approval of the measure, Driving Arkansas Froward, quickly addressed the issue. Not only is the lawsuit meritless, but it is also disingenuous as the attorney that works for the anti-gambling group has apparently gotten it to touch with them many times during the process of certification in support of this gaming amendment, Nate Steel, attorney for Driving Arkansas Forward said.
He further added that they are confident they will come out victorious from this legal battle and that the attorney general is diligent in his review of the ballot title.
More about the amendment
According to the amendment, called the “Arkansas Casino Gaming Amendment of 2018”, the first $150 million of net revenue from casinos will be taxed 13 percent, after which any revenue above this will be taxed 20 percent.
The funds collected from this will be distributed among various recipients. While 55 percent will go to the State of Arkansas General Revenue Fund, 17.5 percent will be given to the Arkansas Racing Commission Purse and Awards Fund. In addition, the county where the casino is will receive 8 percent, while the city or county of the casino’s location will be awarded 19.5 percent.