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story.lead_photo.caption Former Gov. Mike Beebe is shown in this file photo. - Photo by Rick McFarland

LITTLE ROCK — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe is opposing a ballot measure that would legalize casinos in three counties.

Protect Arkansas Values/Stop Casinos Now said Wednesday that the former Democratic governor is opposing the proposed constitutional measure that's on the Nov. 8 ballot. Beebe said in a statement released by the group that he believes the measure would not give local communities the right to decide whether they want expanded gambling.

The proposal would allow three private companies to run the casinos in Boone, Miller and Washington counties. Stop Casinos Now is funded by dog and horse tracks that currently offer video poker and other forms of electronic gambling. The group is also suing to try and disqualify the measure from the ballot.

Beebe has opposed past casino legalization efforts in the state.

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Archived Comments

  • Foghorn
    September 21, 2016 at 12:15 p.m.

    Vote to end Oaklawn's monopoly. Vote to bring jobs and revenue to AR beyond just Hot Springs. Vote FOR Issue 5.

  • billeaton
    September 21, 2016 at 1:01 p.m.

    5 is less of a monopoly than 2

  • hurricane46
    September 21, 2016 at 1:33 p.m.

    There are casinos all around us, let's take some of their money for a change.

  • BEARTRAP919
    September 21, 2016 at 2:18 p.m.

    You do understand how the Lottery in Arkansas is working don't you?? This Would be worse rather than better.

  • pcrasehotmailcom
    September 21, 2016 at 2:42 p.m.

    WTF, don't forget about Southland Racing and Gaming in lovely WM, Arkansas.

  • LR1955
    September 21, 2016 at 3:12 p.m.

    The problem is not gambling, it's the fact the supporters want it to be approved through a proposed constitutional amendment. That is pure BS. Vote this down and let them come back with an Act.

  • Nodmcm
    September 21, 2016 at 3:16 p.m.

    We need a law that allows different corporations to compete for customers' casino business, not a constitutional amendment that hands a monopoly to one or a few parties. I thought Republicans like the free-market system, well, this amendment is not free market at all! Mississippi followed a competitive model, and eventually the market shook out because the patrons made their choices.

  • RBBrittain
    September 21, 2016 at 11:40 p.m.

    The problem with this amendment is NOT casinos, and NOT Oaklawn or Southland; it's that it enshrines a casino monopoly IN THE STATE CONSTITUTION. Even the protection in the constitution for horse racing in Hot Springs is *NOT* specific to Oaklawn; the legislature can authorize additional horse tracks (in Hot Springs or elsewhere), dog tracks, and/or other "electronic games of skill" operators -- and can revoke any of those licenses (even the Cella & Jacobs families) if they no longer qualify. THIS amendment, however, would grant IRREVOCABLE licenses to three specifically named LLCs "or their successors and assigns". What if the Mafia gets ahold of one of those LLCs? This proposed amendment is BAD LAW!!!

  • RBBrittain
    September 21, 2016 at 11:46 p.m.

    The SOLE constitutional protection for anything Oaklawn or Southland does is found in Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 46, the ENTIRE text of which is: "Horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering thereon shall be lawful in Hot Springs, Garland County, Arkansas, and shall be regulated by the General Assembly." NO constitutional monopoly for the Cella family, not even in Amendment 46 -- and definitely no mention of the Jacobs family or Southland either. (The only reason Amendment 46 even exists was to counter another amendment also proposed in 1956 which would have banned ALL gambling in Arkansas, including Oaklawn & Southland, by getting more votes for a pro-Oaklawn amendment -- much like the dueling medical marijuana proposals this year.)

  • RBBrittain
    September 21, 2016 at 11:56 p.m.

    Oh, and if "electronic games of skill" are even lawful (I've never been 100% sure that they aren't actually "games of chance" in violation of the constitutional lottery ban -- AFAIK the state Supreme Court never directly ruled on that issue), the legislature has constitutional authority to permit entities OTHER than Oaklawn & Southland to offer them. If this measure passes, the legislature CANNOT expand its "games of chance" authorization beyond these three named LLCs "or their successors and assigns", nor can it revoke the LLCs' constitutional authorization. THAT is why this amendment is so dangerous!

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