In Arkansas, a bill already approved in the Senate came out of the House Rules Committee this week without comment. The bill, championed in the State Senate by Sen. Scott Flippo, prohibits the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division from enforcing laws regarding gambling machines.
Gambling is illegal in Arkansas except through the lottery or at the two racetrack casinos located at Oaklawn Park the thoroughbred facility in Hot Springs and Southland Park Gaming and Racing, a greyhound track in West Memphis.
However, numerous taverns, convenience stores and others businesses all over the state operate some gambling machines. ABC agents occasionally assess fines when these machines are found in permitted premises.
The new legislation discourages ABC agents from enforcing the ban and additionally gives prosecutors discretion to allow gambling machines in their jurisdictions.
State political insiders say lawsuits could be instituted should the bill become state law. At issue is whether the machines are games of skill or chance.