The odds just dropped dramatically that Arkansas voters will consider a casino proposal on the November ballot.
On Thursday (Sept. 20), the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled in favor of Secretary of State Mark Martin (R), who argued Texas businessman Michael Wasserman could not have more time to collect signatures for his proposed casino measure.
Wasserman’s proposed constitutional amendment, if approved by voters, would have allowed him to operate casinos in 7 Arkansas counties.
The court agreed that Wasserman did not satisfy a requirement to provide the proper number of signatures to qualify from a minimum number of counties. By upholding the determination, Wasserman did not qualify to gain more time to collect signatures and the proposal won’t be considered this November.
He tells our content partner, the Arkansas News Bureau, that he’ll try again in a future election cycle.
“We’ll be back,” Wasserman said Thursday.
A second casino amendment, led by professional poker player Nancy Todd, learned Thursday that the Arkansas Supreme Court will not hold oral arguments in a lawsuit from opponents of her measure.
The Arkansas Racing Alliance, supported by Hot Springs-based Oaklawn, has filed suit against Todd’s proposal to operate casinos in four Arkansas counties.
The Alliance and other opponents have argued that the ballot language of Todd’s proposal, if approved by voters, could forbid electronic games of skill wagering at Oaklawn and West Memphis-based Southland Racing and Gaming.
The state’s high court did ask the Alliance and Todd to submit briefs in the case by Monday. Another lawsuit in which Todd is fighting a rejection of her amendment is pending before the court.