‘Arkansas Wins’ Submits Second Casino Proposal

Arkansas Wins 2018 has submitted a second proposal to the attorney general’s office in the hope of seeing four full-scale gaming venues created in the state.

Formerly known as Arkansas Wins 2016, a group now calling itself Arkansas Wins 2018 submitted a proposal to the office of the attorney general earlier this week aimed at obtaining authorization for the creation of casinos in four counties. This is the group’s second attempt to bring stand-alone casinos to the state.

Arkansas state law allows electronic games of skill to be offered, with Southland Park and Oaklawn currently the only venues where such games can be played. If the Arkansas Wins 2018 proposal is approved, it could see full-scale casinos added to Benton, Boone, Miller, and Pulaski counties.

Arkansas Wins Proposal

The proposal by Arkansas Wins 2018 is one of two submitted to the state. Under the proposal, tax revenues from gaming would be allocated in specific ways. The state Highway Fund would receive 70% of funds, while counties without casinos would split 15% of tax revenues.

The general revenue fund of the state would get 8%, while workforce training would receive 3%. Gambling prevention would be allocated 1% with 2% going to cities hosting the casinos and 1% provided to the hosting county.

In a statement to KATV, Todd Wooten of Arkansas Wins 2018 said: “We firmly believe that this constitutional amendment will grow Arkansas’ economy, spur economic development and tourism all across the state.”

If Arkansas Wins 2018 is approved by the AG, they would then need to circulate petitions to see the ballot initiative qualify for the general election ballot on November 6. A total of 84,859 valid signatures must be obtained from registered voters and turned in by July 6 in order to qualify the proposal for the ballot.

Driving Arkansas Forward

A second group has already submitted two proposals in the state and seen them rejected. Now ready for a third attempt, Driving Arkansas Forward is hopeful that their latest proposal will see the state begin to offer full-scale casino gaming.

The Driving Arkansas Forward proposal would create two casinos in the state, one for Pope County and the other for Jefferson County, and distribution of tax revenues would be slightly different when compared to the other group. The proposal would allocate 52.5% of tax revenues towards the state Highway Fund with 17.5% going towards the Racing Commission purse/awards funding.

The Racing Commission would receive 1.5%, and 1% would go to a new group created via the proposal, the Office of Casino Gaming. The cities that host the casinos will be provided 19.5% in tax revenues, and the host county will get 8%.

A representative of the group, Alex Gray, stated that within their proposal, applicable municipalities would have to be given an approval letter from a county judge and city mayor before casino gaming could be authorized.

Awaiting an Answer

Driving Arkansas Forward should have an answer to their proposal from the AG’s office this week, while the Arkansas Wins 2018 group will have to wait a little longer to find out whether or not their proposal has been approved. As many as ten business days have been allocated for a decision.

If the attorney general approves both proposals, the two groups will have to gather signatures to ensure they are added to the ballot in November. Signatures, which must belong to Arkansas registered voters, have to be submitted and approved before the proposals can be added to this year’s ballot.

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