Private group seeks OK for 4 casino sites

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A private committee has proposed a constitutional amendment that would authorize the creation of four casinos at specific locations in Benton, Boone, Miller and Pulaski counties.
The proposal for the committee — dubbed Arkansas Wins In 2018 Inc. — has drawn criticism from a separate private committee — called Driving Arkansas Forward — that has proposed its own constitutional amendment to authorize state government to issue four casino licenses with one each for Jefferson and Pope counties, one for Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs and one Southland Park Gaming and Racing in West Memphis.
While existing state law doesn’t allow stand-alone casinos, it permits electronic games of skills that now exist at Oaklawn and Southland Park.
The president for Arkansas Wins In 2018 Inc. is retired businessman Mark Diggs of Little Rock and its secretary/treasurer is businessman Bob Womack of Branson, Mo., according to its filing on Tuesday with the Arkansas Ethics Commission. Ron Oliver of North Little Rock, a former state Racing Commission director and chairman of the state Democratic Party, also serves on the committee that is composed of business and community leaders, said Todd Wooten, an attorney for the committee and of Dover Dixon Horne PLLC of Little Rock.
In a letter dated Tuesday, attorney Randall Bynum of the law firm asked Attorney General Leslie Rutledge to certify a proposed popular name and ballot title for the committee’s proposal. The popular name briefly describes the proposal and a ballot title, which appears on ballots, is a lengthier summary.
Under state law, Rutledge’s approval would clear the way for the committee to begin circulating petitions to qualify the proposal for the Nov. 6 general election ballot. A sponsor of a proposed amendment is required to turn in 84,859 valid signatures of registered voters by July 6, according to the secretary …


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