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Arkansas lottery amendment criticized

26 August 2008

ARKANSAS – As reported by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette: "A majority of Arkansas voters in 1996 and 2000 rejected lottery proposals that contained provisions authorizing casinos, too, provisions widely regarded as the biggest factor in the failures at the ballot boxes.

"Lt. Gov. Bill Halter's proposed amendment to authorize the General Assembly to create state lotteries doesn't mention casinos.

"But attorneys for its foes are trying to paint it as casino-prone as the Nov. 4 election draws nearer. The lack of a definition of 'state lotteries' opens a door to casino-style games and is a major problem, they maintain.

"The Halter camp portrays this stance as groundless in light of positions taken by the state Supreme Court in past cases.

"…Forty-two states have lotteries. Six have video lottery terminals in addition to the usual paper lottery tickets, according to Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, which also opposes Halter's amendment.

"…Since 1874, the Arkansas Constitution has prohibited lotteries without defining what they are…"

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