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Arkansas Prosecutor's Charges Against Casino Backers Draws Criticism

19 October 2000

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – Oct. 19, 2000 – As reported by The Associated Press: "The head of a group wanting to legalize casino gambling in Arkansas said Thursday that a prosecutor acted unprofessionally in filing charges against two major backers less than three weeks before the general election.

"Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley said Wednesday that affidavits were issued for the arrest of Jim Harris and Bob Buchholz, both of Dallas. They are accused of selling stocks without a license, selling unregistered stocks, and providing false information to the Securities Commission.

"Bobby May, the president of Arkansas Casino Corp., said at a news conference today that bringing the charges 20 days before the election was `unprofessional, ... immature (and) unethical.'

"…The proposed Amendment 5, to be voted on Nov. 7, would allow the Arkansas Casino Corp. to build casinos in six Arkansas counties. It would also authorize a state lottery and legalize charitable bingo. Its backers say proceeds would eliminate the sales tax on groceries and fund college scholarships for all Arkansas high school graduates.

"…May said it appeared the charges were a ploy.

"…But, to dispel questions about the company's backing, May released a list of more than 300 stockholders - well more than half of which are Arkansas residents.

"Glen Hooks, spokesman for Amendment 5, said the charges were political - filed as a way to influence voters…"

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