Arkansas Casino Proposed Legislation Backed By Two Indian Tribes
Efforts to legalize four casinos in Arkansas, USA have received major backing from the Quapaw and Cherokee tribes in Arkansas.
The Quapaws were the largest contributors pouring in $707,000 to the Driving Arkansas Forward committee, while the Cherokees donated another $525,300. The committee is pushing for a constitutional amendment that will result in the issuance of four casino licenses.
Last month, the Arkansas Jobs Coalition committee, a different committee that also supports the casino ballot measure, received more than $180,000 in non-monetary contribution from the Quapaw Tribe. The ballot committees have until Monday to submit their June reports to the Arkansas Ethics Commission.
Casino Proposal Could Raise $120 million a Year
The two committees backing the casino proposal, Driving Arkansas Forward and the Arkansas Jobs Coalition, are both headed by lobbyist Don Tilton of the Quapaw Tribe. If the proposal is approved, it would raise around $120 million annually in net casino tax revenue, with 55% going to the state general revenue fund. The Racing Commission will also share 17.5% of the tax receipts, and the local governments where the casinos are located will take care of the rest of the money.
Nate Steel who is the counsel for the committees said that they were pleased by the overwhelming financial support given by organizations. They believe the ballot measure will pave the way for more jobs, lower taxes, better infrastructure and a stronger economy in Arkansas.
Four New Casinos Waiting To Be Developed
Should things work out in favour of these two tribes and the proposed amendment gets approved, the Racing Commission in the state will then be able to issue four casino licenses. The proposed casinos will be developed within 2 miles of Pine Bluff; Southland Racing Corp, within 2 miles of Russellville; Jefferson County, in or adjacent to Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs and in or adjacent to Southland Gaming and Racing in West Memphis.
The Arkansas Thoroughbred Racing and Breeding Alliance committee which monitors proposed amendments that may affect thoroughbred racing in Arkansas has raised $10,000 from Oaklawn Jockey Club Inc of Hot Springs.
Casino sponsors, who are seeking to qualify their casino measure for the Nov.6 ballot, have collected an estimated 96,170 signatures of registered voters and the Office of the Secretary of State is still determining whether 84,859 of those are valid or whether they could get 30 more days to gather more signatures.