10/13/2016 2:34PM

Casino question removed from ballot in Arkansas


The Arkansas Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that a proposed ballot measure asking voters to approve three new casinos in the state should be disqualified, granting a victory to the two racetracks in the state that opposed the proposal.

The court ruled that the language of the ballot measure did not adequately inform voters of the consequences of the approval, and it ordered officials to ignore any votes cast on the measure in the upcoming Nov. 8 election.

“The voters are entitled to a ballot title that is honest, impartial, and intelligible and will give them a fair understanding of the issues presented,” the justices said in the ruling for the majority opinion.

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The lawsuit challenging the ballot measure was brought by Oaklawn Park, a Thoroughbred track in Hot Springs, and Southland Park, a greyhound track. Both tracks also operate hundreds of so-called Instant Racing machines each. The devices are similar to slot machines.

The ballot measure would have allowed the state to award three new casinos licenses, all of which would have competed with the casinos operated by Oaklawn and Southland.