Legal Tie-Ups Delaying Expanded Gambling in Arkansas

JULY 10, 2006 - Posted at 7:46 a.m. CDT

HOT SPRINGS, AR - Last November, voters in Hot Springs and West Memphis approved a ballot item that would allow electronic games of skill to be introduced at race tracks in Hot Springs and West Memphis.

At Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, general manager Eric Jackson says court challenges to the measures has slowed the introduction of the new gambling machines at the horse track.  Jackson says it could take until next year before the track can expand its gambling offerings.

The tracks have won circuit court rulings, upholding the ballot measures.  But a group that opposes the expanded gambling is pledging an appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the state Racing Commission is working to develop rules to govern the new games.  The panel discussed the rules on Thursday but agreed to defer a vote until its next meeting to allow time for some wording to be changed.

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