West Memphis Lawmaker Offers Gambling Bill to Raise Money for Schools

February 4, 2004 - Posted at 8:04 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A bill allowing race tracks to offer video poker and other electronic wagering has been filed by Representative Steven Jones of West Memphis.

Jones said the bill would bring in an additional $26 million per year in new state revenue.  He said the measure also would help counties that border other states because it would provide some alternative to relying only on a sales tax increase.

For months, opponents of expanding gambling at Oaklawn Park thoroughbred racetrack in Hot Springs and Southland Greyhound Park in West Memphis have run media ads warning against legislation by gambling interests.

Nine weeks into a special session, Jones' bill was the first gambling-related measure to be filed.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)