Judge to Rule on Expanded Gambling Challenge

APRIL 21, 2006 - Posted at 3:46 p.m. CST

HOT SPRINGS, AR - A judge in Hot Springs heard arguments today in a challenge to a voter-approved measure to allow expanded gambling at Oaklawn Park thoroughbred race track at Hot Springs.

Special Judge John Lineberger says he expects to issue a ruling in about two weeks.

A similar measure passed in West Memphis and both items are being challenged.  Voters in Hot Springs and West Memphis agreed to allow "electronic games of skill" to be installed at Oaklawn Park and Southland Greyhound Park.

Lawyers for the Family Council Action Committee say the expanded gambling would violate the Arkansas constitution.

In today's 90-minute hearing, lawyers in the opposition argued the gambling expansion argued the gambling expansion is unconstitutional.  Oaklawn's lawyers argued that the voter approval was within the constitution.

Both sides say an appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court is likely, no matter which way Lineberger rules.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)