Arkansas Court Rightfully Leaves Casino Decision Up To Voters – PlayUSA

The Arkansas Supreme Court made the wise decision this week to uphold democracy and keep a referendum on gambling expansion on the November midterm election ballot.

It doesn’t really matter if you agree the Hot Springs horse track and West Memphis dog track with electronic gambling should be turned into full-fledged casinos. Or, if you think two more casino licenses should be issued in the state’s Jefferson and Pope counties.

This issue is about whether or not voters should have the right to decide the state’s fate in terms of gambling expansion. The state’s highest court is now saying they should.

An attack on democracy

Arkansas anti-gambling zealots, made up mostly of conservative family and religious organizations, argue gambling has a negative effect on the communities it inhabits.

They claim places with casinos have higher divorce rates, higher bankruptcy rates, more crime, and more people addicted to gambling, putting a further strain on social services.

However, these groups haven’t provided much proof of this. Nor have they used whatever proof they have to campaign against gambling expansion in the Natural State.

Instead, they filed a pair of lawsuits claiming the wording of the question in the referendum is misleading and ambiguous. The groups’ goal was to get the question removed from the ballot altogether.

In other words, instead of convincing voters to say no to casino expansion in Arkansas, they tried to circumvent the referendum process to stop voters from having a say at all.

It was a bold tactic that turned out to be more of an attack on democracy than casino gambling. In the end, it failed.

Leaving casinos up to voters

Like several US states, in order to expand gambling in Arkansas, the state constitution needs to change. Of course, that can’t happen without a referendum. Ultimately, that

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