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Sports betting will be included in Arkansas general election ballot

Sep 7, 2018 9:19 AM

After a series of failed efforts, a proposed constitutional amendment that would authorize four casinos in Arkansas including sports betting will be on the Nov. 6 general election ballot, the secretary of state's office has announced.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he opposes the proposed amendment.

The elections director in the secretary of state's office, Leslie Bellamy, said the measure's sponsors turned in 99,988 valid signatures of registered voters. Proposed amendments require 84,859 signatures to qualify for the ballot.

The measure will be marked as Issue 4.

The proposal would allow the state Racing Commission to issue casino licenses to: an applicant in Jefferson County within 2 miles of Pine Bluff; an applicant in Pope County within 2 miles of Russellville; Southland Racing Corp. at or adjacent to Southland Gaming and Racing in West Memphis; and Oaklawn Jockey Club at or adjacent to Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs.

Current state law only allows electronic casinos at Oaklawn Park and at Southland, a greyhound track in West Memphis. Passage of Issue 4 would allow for expansion of their gambling operations, including sports betting.