Media

Casinos proposal for ballot rejected


Ambiguities cited in measure’s text


By Michael R. Wickline
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge late Tuesday afternoon rejected a proposed popular name and ballot title for a proposed constitutional amendment that would authorize the creation of four casinos at specific locations in Benton, Boone, Miller and Pulaski counties to raise more money for highways.

The proposal has been advanced by the private Arkansas Wins in 2018 Inc. committee. The president of the committee is retired businessman Mark Diggs of Little Rock, and its secretary-treasurer is businessman Bob Womack of Branson, according to its filing with the Arkansas Ethics Commission.

While existing Arkansas law doesn't allow stand-alone casinos, it permits electronic games of skill that now exist at Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs and Southland Park Gaming and Racing in West Memphis.

In her letter to attorney Randall Bynum, who represents the Arkansas Wins In 2018 Inc. committee, Rutledge wrote that "a number of additions or changes to your ballot title are necessary in order to more fully and correctly summarize your proposal." Read more.

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