Gwen Moritz: History Repeats With New Casino Proposal

roulette“Not this again.”

That was pretty much the phrase of the day around the office when word of Michael J. Wasserman’s casinos-in-Arkansas ballot title came back approved by the state Attorney General’s Office last week. As Arkansas Business Editor Gwen Moritz explains this week, we’ve been here before.

But as bad as the 2000 proposal by a group called Arkansas Casino Corp. was, Wasserman’s stab at it, which would write his business called Arkansas Hotels & Entertainment Inc. into the state Constitution, be even worse, according to Moritz’s column in this week’ Arkansas Business. For example:

Arkansas Casino Corp.’s amendment would have created an Arkansas Gaming Commission, but it would have regulated only lotteries and bingo, not the casinos. Wasserman dispenses with even the appearance of governmental regulation. His amendment would “prohibit the General Assembly and any political subdivision of the state from enacting any legislation, rules or regulations regarding casino gambling.”

Moritz lists other examples. But she isn’t surprised, with recent voter approval of the first statewide lottery in Arkansas, that someone has again come along and tried to get full-on casinos running in the Natural State:

Soon we’ll have a lottery, and for the first time it will be our state government’s mission to encourage Arkansans to spend their money on long-odds gambling.

It’s not surprising, then, that Wasserman thinks it might be time to pull out all the stops on a casino amendment that would benefit his company and no one else. I’m praying that Arkansans are not fooled into this one. Maybe it won’t even garner enough signatures to get on the ballot. But if it does, maybe the same thing that happened to Arkansas Casino Corp. will happen to Arkansas Hotels & Entertainment Inc.

You can read the full column here.

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One Response

  1. We need Casinos in Pulaski County it will bring visitors to this state the riverfront and casinos wow what a great vacation. It will bring jobs to many arkanasa that are out of work. We need to keep our money and put it in our own state and not make Mississippi and Louisana and Oklahoma rich. Arkansas need to wake up and the time is now.

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