Arkansas gambling could get an upgrade in 2019

Arkansas will ask the public to vote on plans for expanded casinos and sports betting

Arkansas casinos could receive a major upgrade in 2019 - with the public's approval.

At the state's general elections in November, the public will vote on plans to expand casino gaming within the state. 

This includes the permission of land-based casino games at a horse racing track and two potential new casino venues. 

Electronic table games and slots are the only forms of casino gambling at the Oaklawn and West Memphis establishments.

But a yes vote from the public would also allow the facilities to offer card, dice and table games.

The vote will also determine the future of sports betting within the state. State officials aim to include wagers on sporting events in the definition for casino gaming.

If the public approves, there would be a license fee of $250,000 per venue - and the Arkansas Racing Commission would regulate both casino and sports betting within the state.

Taxes for venues will be based on the net gaming revenue. For the first $150 million, establishments will be required to pay 13%. Anything over this figure will be taxable at 20%. The taxes will be split between the Arkansas General Revenue Fund and the Arkansas Racing Commission.

While no mentions of Arkansas online casinos have been officially announced - it is thought that an ease of rules could also green light internet gaming in the future.

Not all state officials are pleased with the new plans, however. Governor Asa Hutchison has publicly denounced the new proposals. The vote will be cast on November 8th.

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