More signatures back casinos in Arkansas

The group supporting the proposal of adding casinos to three Arkansas counties declared that another obstacle has been cleared.

US.- A committee promoting a proposed constitutional amendment to authorise up to three casinos in Southwest and Northwest Arkansas said it turned in nearly 50.000 more signatures in its bid to qualify the measure for the November 8 ballot.

The additional signatures were needed because backers didn’t turn in enough valid signatures before. On July 8, they turned in 92.120 signatures to the office and on July 27, amendment backers had gathered at least 75 percent of the 84.859 valid signatures needed to qualify for the ballot. Arkansas Win, the group behind the initiative, was given until August 26 to solicit more names but turned in the new documentation two weeks early. It needed 21.134 but turned in 49.790. The Secretary of State’s office said it couldn’t estimate how long it would take for a review but said it had a September 14 deadline.

The group would build casinos in Boone, Miller and Washington counties, all of which are border counties. The casinos would be operated in Boone County by Arkansas Gaming and Resorts LLC, in Miller County by Miller County Gaming LLC and in Washington County by Washington County Gaming LLC, their respective successors or whoever they assign their licenses to, under the proposed amendment.

Casinos would be allowed to operate on any days of the year and any part of the day. They would be permitted to sell alcoholic beverages or to provide complimentary servings of alcoholic beverages when the casino was operating. The amendment would also create an Arkansas Gaming Commission, comprised of five members appointed by the governor, to regulate casinos in accordance with the law.

Robert Coon, a spokesman for Arkansas Winning Initiative, said: “We feel certain that we will qualify for the ballot, and we look forward to communicating to voters how passage of our amendment will create new jobs, increase tourism, and bring tax revenue back to Arkansas.”