Arkansas to vote on sports betting legislation during mid-term elections

Residents in the state of Arkansas will have the opportunity to vote on an amendment to the Arkansas Constitution to allow sports betting on Tuesday.

The amendment, Issue 4, would amend the states Constitution allowing the state to issue four casinos licenses to specific licensees.

According to the amendment: “Casino gaming is defined as dealing, operating, carrying on, conducting, maintaining, or exposing for play any game played with cards, dice, equipment, or any mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic device or machine for money, property, checks, credit, or any representative value. Casino gaming shall also be defined to include accepting wagers on sporting events.”

Two of the four licenses have already been allocated.

The first license will be awarded to the Southland Racing Corporation, allowing Southland to offer casino gaming at a casino venue to be built near Southland’s greyhound race track in Crittenden County.

The Oaklawn Jockey Club is the second licensee and will be granted permission to offer casino gaming at a casino venue to be built near the Oaklawn horse racing track in Garland County.

The other two licensees have yet to be named, however, one license will permit casino gaming at a casino to be built in Pope County and the other will permit casino gaming at a casino to be built in Jefferson County.

Whoever decides to apply for the two unassigned licenses will need to pay application fees and either demonstrate casino gaming experience and knowledge or receive a letter of support from the county judge.

The measure was initially created to grant Southland and Oaklawn automatic casino gaming licenses.

Licensees in the state will be subject to a 13% tax rate on the first $150m of net casino receipts and a rate of 20% on casino gaming receipts that exceeds $150m.

The State of Arkansas General Revenue Fund will receive 55% of the tax revenue, the city the casino is located in will receive 19.5% and if the casino is not in a city that revenue will be allocated to the county.

The Arkansas Racing Commission will receive 17.5% of tax revenue and 8% of will be allocated to the county where the casino is located.

If this amendment is successful, Arkansas will become the eighth state to offer legalized sports betting since the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

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