Family Council Denounces Poker Amendment

FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2012

In a statement issued Friday, Family Council President Jerry Cox denounced a push to further legalize casino gambling in Arkansas.

“This is yet another case of a corporation trying to write itself into the Arkansas Constitution,” Cox said. “Nancy Todd’s Poker Palace and Entertainment, LLC, wants a casino monopoly. That’s what this is about.”

Cox pointed out this is not the first time a corporation has tried to write itself into the constitution. “Michael Wasserman, out of Texas, has tried it. This attempt isn’t any different. These people aren’t doing Arkansas any favors. They aren’t bringing casinos to Arkansas to benefit Arkansas. They’re doing it to fatten their wallets.”

Cox also addressed his group’s opposition to gambling in general. “It’s no secret that we oppose gambling. It hurts the poor, and pulls money out of the local economy. We fought the legalization of the so-called ‘games of skill’ at Oaklawn and Southland; now their racetracks are essentially just casinos with horses or greyhounds out back. We fought the lottery; you only have to read the papers to see what a fiasco it has been. If Arkansas lets a private company write itself into the constitution, I can guarantee we’re going to have even more trouble.”


Casinos Drain Nearly $2 Billion from State Economy in 2011

Oaklawn and Southland are the only two establishments in Arkansas permitted to offer “electronic games of skill”—a fancy term for casino gambling performed electronically, usually through a video screen. However, even though Arkansas is currently limited to two traditional gambling venues, Oaklawn and Southland still drained nearly $2 billion from the state’s economy in 2011. Wagers were up 100% at Southland and 45% at Oaklawn compared to 2010. This is disconcerting for two primary reasons.