Arkansas Supreme Court imposes deadline for casino amendment lawsuit

Arkansas Supreme Court imposes deadline for casino amendment lawsuit

September 18, 2018 10:25 AM
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The Arkansas Supreme Court has imposed an Oct. 1st deadline for both sides of an initial lawsuit over the state’s proposed "casino amendment."

Voters are scheduled to decide on casino gambling expansion in a November vote, but legal wrangling has begun since the Arkansas Attorney General approved proposed ballot language several weeks ago.   

Opponents and supporters of the proposed revision of the Arkansas Constitution, known as Issue 4, must have their cases prepared to argue whether the amendment should be stricken from the ballot due to language that opponents have deemed unclear.

The group opposing the amendment, Citizens For a Local Option, filed the suit last week. Their attorney, Chris Burks told local media, the amendment has had problems from the beginning. "Issue 4 has been changed, who is involved has changed, and the priorities have changed," Burks said. "This amendment misleads voters, it is confusing and conflicting."

Arkansas is currently home to two electronic casinos, one at Oaklawn Park, the iconic thoroughbred track in Hot Springs. The other is at Southland, a greyhound racing facility in West Memphis. The amendment would allow gambling expansion at these locations in addition to two other new casinos in the state.

A second lawsuit was filed last week to strike the amendment from the ballot. The group behind this suit is called “Ensuring Arkansas' Future,” local media report.