Arkansas studies casinos’ impact

The impact that casinos would have in the state is being studied in Arkansas. Credits: Technical.ly

The group behind the casino proposal in the state presented financial information.

US.- The Department of Finance & Administration (DF&A) of Arkansas, and Driving Arkansas Forward, the group that is behind the initiative to bring casinos to the state, presented financial numbers regarding the impact that gambling facilities could have in the state.

The proposal wants to get the casino industry expanded into a Hot Springs horse track and West Memphis greyhound track that already offer video poker and other electronic games. The proposal would also legalise casinos in Pope and Jefferson counties.

While Arkansas currently collects 18 per cent tax on casino gaming, which goes to general revenue, the proposal establishes that some of the money collected would still go there but some to the cities and counties. 

DF&A believes that there would be a hole in general revenue in the period that it would take for the casinos to open, but Driving Arkansas Forward disagrees: “The idea that there’s a two year basically dead period for these two casino sites I don’t believe that’s true. What happens is, these casinos get up and running so you can be at the casinos, then they finish up the hotel part,” said Alex Gray, counsel for Driving Arkansas Forward.

The group received a deadline extension late last month in order to collect the necessary signatures to include the proposal on the November election ballot. Gray said that the group has until August 24th to collect them.